Shkara (stewed fish) is a simple old and extremely popular Odessa dish.

Shkara used to be cooked everywhere in Odessa. Then true Odessa residents left and one just couldn’t find enough scad. Now scad is back and only few people remember the recipe of correct and very tasty shkara. Aleksei Meniaylov is a true Odessa resident and just a great person who shared this recipe, tells that his grandmother taught him to stew shkara. And his grandmother learnt from the Greeks.

But who taught the Greeks is a mystery.


Shkara recipe
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Ukrainian Cuisine
  • Fresh scad – 500 g
  • Bulb onion – 200 g
  • Black tea – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 200 ml
  • Salt – 1 tbsp
  • Whole allspice (peas)
  • 1 tsp –bay leaf (to taste)
  • Lemon juice (fresh) – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Oil -100 ml
  1. Wash and dry fish. Don’t gut it.
  2. Put salt, pepper, sugar. Add lemon juice.
  3. Make strong tea, sift it.
  4. Cover spices with hot tea.
  5. Mix till salt and sugar fully dissolve.
  6. Add oil into the solution when cooled.
  7. Cut the onion into circles.
  8. Put a layer of fish into a small cooking pot (stewpot, deep pan).
  9. Cover the fish layer with layer of onion and bay leaf.
  10. Continue layer by layer till the last layer of fish is covered with onion circles.
  11. Cover the content of the pot with the solution cooked and in order to avoid “bouncing” during cooking press with plate.
  12. Close with lid and with the left plate inside cook on small fire.
  13. The dish will be ready in an hour.
  14. When hot, it tastes well with boiled potato.
  15. And it’s a great snack when cooled
  16. Bon Appetit!