Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce Recipe | Origin: Estonia

Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce

Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce Recipe | Origin: Estonia
Region / culture: Estonia | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 4 minutes | Servings: 4


Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce
Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce

Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce is a refreshing and flavorful dish that combines tender cod fillets with a creamy horseradish sauce. This dish is perfect for a light lunch or dinner, and the tangy horseradish sauce adds a unique twist to the traditional fish salad.


This recipe has its roots in Estonian cuisine, where fish is a popular ingredient due to the country's proximity to the Baltic Sea. Cod is a commonly used fish in Estonian cooking, and the addition of horseradish to the sauce gives the dish a distinctive flavor that is both creamy and spicy.


How to prepare

  1. Place the cod fillets in a shallow enameled pan, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add 0.5 tsp of salt, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the fish until it just begins to flake, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Drain the fish thoroughly and place it in a large bowl.
  4. Sprinkle lemon juice on it.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the horseradish, sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, onion, cucumbers, and dill.
  6. Mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Toss the fish gently but thoroughly with this mixture, cover, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.


  1. Arrange a bottom layer of lettuce in a serving dish and serve the fish salad over it.


  • Substitute the cod fillets with salmon or haddock for a different flavor profile.
  • Add chopped pickles or capers to the horseradish sauce for extra tanginess.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to cook the cod fillets just until they begin to flake, as overcooking can make the fish tough and dry.

- Refrigerating the fish salad for 45 minutes allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste of the dish.

- Serve the salad over a bed of fresh lettuce leaves for a beautiful presentation.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce as a main dish with a side of crusty bread or boiled potatoes.

Cooking Techniques

Boiling the cod fillets until they just begin to flake ensures that the fish remains tender and moist.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a lighter version of the horseradish sauce.

- Replace the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

The fish salad can be prepared up to a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the dish with fresh dill sprigs or a sprinkle of paprika for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Serve the salad with a crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

300 per serving


6g per serving


18g per serving


24g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.


This recipe contains fish, dairy, and eggs.


This dish is a balanced meal that provides a good amount of protein and healthy fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals.


Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce is a delicious and nutritious dish that is easy to prepare and perfect for a light meal. The creamy horseradish sauce adds a zesty kick to the tender cod fillets, making this salad a standout dish on any table. Enjoy this Estonian-inspired recipe with family and friends for a memorable dining experience.

How did I get this recipe?

I recall the moment I first laid eyes on this recipe for Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting a dear friend of mine in Estonia. She had invited me over for lunch, and as soon as I walked into her kitchen, I was greeted by the tantalizing aroma of fresh fish and herbs.

My friend, Katarina, was busy at work, chopping vegetables and preparing the cod for the salad. I watched in awe as she moved around the kitchen with such grace and skill. When she noticed my interest, she smiled and beckoned me over.

"Would you like to learn how to make this traditional Estonian dish?" she asked.

I nodded eagerly, and she handed me a knife and a cutting board. As she guided me through the process, explaining each step and ingredient, I felt a sense of excitement building within me. This was not just a recipe; it was a piece of Estonian culture and tradition that I was about to learn.

The cod salad itself was a simple dish, made with fresh cod fillets, boiled potatoes, carrots, and peas. But what really set it apart was the horseradish sauce. Katarina showed me how to make it from scratch, using grated horseradish root, sour cream, and a touch of lemon juice. The combination of flavors was unlike anything I had ever tasted before - creamy, tangy, and with a subtle kick of spice from the horseradish.

As we sat down to enjoy our meal, Katarina shared with me the history behind the recipe. She explained how it had been passed down through generations of Estonian women, each adding their own twist and variation to make it their own. She told me stories of family gatherings and celebrations where this dish had been a staple on the table, bringing people together in a shared love of good food and company.

After my visit to Estonia, I returned home with a newfound appreciation for the art of cooking and the importance of preserving traditional recipes. I began experimenting in my own kitchen, trying out different variations of the Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce. Each time I made it, I felt a sense of connection to Katarina and the generations of women who had come before her, passing down their culinary secrets and traditions.

Over the years, I have shared this recipe with friends and family, always eager to introduce them to the unique flavors of Estonian cuisine. And as I watch my own grandchildren learn to cook and explore the world of food, I can't help but feel a sense of pride knowing that I am passing down a piece of my own heritage to the next generation.

So whenever I make Estonian Cod Salad with Horseradish Sauce, I am not just following a recipe. I am carrying on a tradition, honoring the women who came before me and celebrating the rich tapestry of flavors and stories that make up my culinary heritage. And with each bite, I am reminded of that warm summer day in Estonia, when I first laid eyes on this special recipe and knew that it would become a beloved part of my own cooking repertoire.


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