Sturgeon Fillets Baked in Sauerkraut

Jesiotr Pieczony w Kiszonej Kapuście

Sturgeon will be appreciated greatly by every fish connoisseur. Its meat is firm, yet tender and… almost completely boneless! Sturgeons can be fried, grilled, marinated, smoked, and also used in casseroles and other dishes.

This particular sturgeon recipe is sweet and sour at the same time. Sauerkraut lends its sourness, while honey and raisins balance the acidity with natural sweetness.

If you want to elevate this dish, you could make your own sauerkraut, but a high quality store-bought version is just fine, too. 

This recipe is the part of the “Old-Polish Fast” series, in which we time-travel back to an old-Polish kitchen.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

Sturgeon recipes once played a very important role in the old Polish cookbooks. And no wonder – in the past, wild sturgeon could weigh up to 440 lb (200 kg)!

And since none of this precious meat could go to waste, there were plenty of ways to cook it.

I discovered this recipe watching reruns of “Okrasa łamie przepisy” – it’s a popular culinary TV show by chef Karol Okrasa. His dishes are often inspired by the old-Polish cuisine.

If you have access to TVP Polonia tv-channel, look out for the episode no. 113.

Screenshot from "Okrasa łamie przepisy" culinary show by KArol Okrasa

Do you need any special ingredients to make this Sturgeon Fillet Baked in Sauerkraut?

Yes. The most troublesome ingredients would be: sturgeon (fillets; or a whole fish – we can always get to the fillets ourselves), dried mushrooms and high-quality sauerkraut. 

The rest will be relatively easy to purchase in any major supermarket.

🇵🇱 Used mostly for its caviar, sturgeon is a fish that spends most of its lifetime in the sea ( but it does come into rivers to spawn). 

Once plentiful, sturgeon had nearly disappeared from the Polish waters by the 90’s. Fortunately, our long-lost friend was recently revived, as the sturgeon farming is gaining popularity year-on-year (source in Polish). But you’ll still need to make some phone calls to the local fishmongers to make a purchase. 

🌍 Same advice applies internationally – you’ll need to enquire in a specialty seafood store. If everything fails, swap sturgeon fillets for sea trout, halibut or swordfish.

Dried wild mushrooms can be swapped for fresh champignons (button mushrooms).

What could you serve with this Sturgeon Fillet?

This dish is full of flavour, therefore I would suggest a side dish that’s a bit milder. Potatoes (boiled, mashed, roasted), steamed vegetables or a green salad would pair beautifully.

Can you cook this Sturgeon in Sauerkraut another way?

No, not really. You could make a few substitutions though:

  • Swap dried mushrooms for fresh ones
  • Swap wine vinegar for another one e.g. apple vinegar

What diets is this Sturgeon recipe suitable for?

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians. It is also dairy-free.

How long can you keep this Sturgeon in Sauerkraut in the fridge?

Once these Sturgeon Fillets are served, don’t keep them out for more than 2-3 hours.

To store any leftovers, it’s best to let them cool down completely and then keep them in the same baking dish (just cover the top with some cling film). Aim to consume within 2 days. 

Can I freeze this Baked Sturgeon Fillet?

No. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe.

How do I reheat this Sturgeon dish?

From chilled: It’s best to reheat this dish in the oven at 320°F (160°C) for 8-10 minutes; until reheated throughout.

Move the Sturgeon pieces into an oven-friendly dish, cover with remaining sauce and cover with aluminum foil. 

Smacznego!

Sturgeon Fillet Baked in Sauerkraut
Sturgeon Fillet Baked in Sauerkraut

Sturgeon Fillets Baked in Sauerkraut and Wild Mushrooms

Yield: 4-5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Baked Sturgeon recipe is sweet and sour at the same time. It's a great way to enjoy this royal fish.

If you can't find sturgeon fillets anywhere, swap them for sea trout, halibut or swordfish.

Ingredients

  • 3 oz (80-85 g) dried wild mushrooms (e.g. porcini); or 9 oz (250 g) fresh ones.
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 9 oz (250-255 g) sauerkraut
  • ½ leek (just the white part)
  • 4 sturgeon fillets (small-ish; roughly 9 oz / 250 g each)
  • coarsely ground black pepper, to season
  • 3 - 4 tbsp flour
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt, for seasoning
  • 1 lemon, optional, for garnish

Instructions

Prep work (the night before)

  1. Soak dried mushrooms in water, cook them until they soften. Drain and slice into thin strips.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves and chop them finely. Set aside.
  3. Grab the sauerkraut, squeeze out the excess juices (don’t pour the juices away! They’re very healthy, drink them instead). Chop through the sauerkraut a few times, so that there aren’t any long cabbage pieces left. Set aside.
  4. Slice the white part of the leek into thin strips. Set aside.


Let's cook

  1. Skin the fillets and season them generously with coarsely ground black pepper and dust them with flour. Fry on a frying pan, lightly greased with olive oil on both sides, until golden. If they’re slightly undercooked inside, that’s okay - they’ll end up in the oven anyway.
  2. Take the sturgeon fillets off the frying pan and set them aside on a plate. Don’t clean the frying pan just yet!
  3. Add a touch of olive oil into the same frying pan. Add in chopped garlic and mushroom strips; and sauté them for 5 minutes. 
  4. Add in a generous pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper and chopped sauerkraut. Drop in a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard, raisins and sliced leek. 
  5. Fry together for 10 minutes stirring from time to time. At the very end, pour in two tablespoons of wine vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. Stir everything together.
  6. Grab an oven-proof baking dish and spread half of our sauerkraut mass onto it.
  7. Line a baking dish with half of our sauerkraut mass. Gently move fish fillets on top and cover them with the rest of the sauerkraut. 
  8. Bake in 360ºF (180ºC) in 25 minutes.
  9. Serve hot and garnish with lemon slices.

Notes

  • This recipe was created by Polish chef Karol Okrasa and was presented in his TV show “Okrasa łamie przepisy" (episode 113, in Polish, available as VOD over here - possibly locked by region)
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 287mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g

    Save this “Baked Sturgeon” recipe to your “POLISH DINNERS” Pinterest board! And let’s be friends on Pinterest!

    Kasia Kronenberger

    Kasia Kronenberger changes the (often unfavourable) perceptions of Polish food through digital storytelling. She creates purpose-led, bite-sized videos, exploring her cultural identity through food. As a self-taught home cook, Kasia enjoys trying out recipes from old Polish cookbooks. She’s keen of all things smoked or fermented.


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