In 2020, we couldn’t travel much. Yet, last year (finally, it is last!) happened to be pretty interesting for me in culinary adventures. For the first time in my life, I had a chance to cook and taste two sturgeon species — sevruga and sterlet. Both look unusual as a fish. Sevruga, though, looks very attractive to me. Its diamond-shaped scutes look like stars and thus another name — Starry Sturgeon. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous.

tsar sevruga

Both species from Sturgeon Aquafarms — sevruga and sterlet — are relatively lean. I tried multiple cooking methods to see which one is the best for my taste —  grilling, frying, smoking, boiling, and baking/roasting. The last one was the most awarding. I call it baking/roasting because of the oven, but it is cooked in moist heat. The fish is covered all the time (more like in a dutch oven), and it cooks in its own juice and steam, which is the best for it. The vegetables are arranged around it, share the same cooking method, and absorb the same flavors. This cooking method unlocks the best in this fish in terms of flavor and texture.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Eastern European
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6 portions
Calories: 160kcal


  • 1 each sevruga
  • 2 lb potatoes baby potatoes, assorted
  • 2 each fennel bulbs

for stuffing

  • 2 each leeks white part
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 0.5 bunch parsley Italian, flatleaf, fresh
  • 0.5 bunch cilantro fresh
  • 1 handful fennel greens fresh
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper freshly ground


  1. Thaw the sevruga. To prepare the fish for cooking, boil a large pot of water. Prepare a deep baking dish with either the lid or a large piece of foil to cover and secure the baking dish. The steam needs to be trapped inside the baking dish during the cooking.
  2. Prepare the stuffing. Wash and slice the white part of the leeks. Peel and slice fresh garlic cloves. Chop fennel greens and herbs. Melt butter in a skillet and saute leeks until soft and lightly caramelized. Add garlic, green fennel, and herbs, mix, season to your taste, turn off the heat. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Wear protective gloves. Place sevruga in a sink and rinse it with boiling-hot water and clean the slime with your hands moving them tail to head. Cut off the gills if they are still present. Cut off the skutes, carefully inspecting all 5 lateral raws (back, sides, and belly). Make two slits on both sides of the skeleton, deep enough to remove it. Rinse the fish for the last time, and it is ready to stuff.
  4. Stuff sevruga's belly and secure the stuffing with toothpicks in the places where belly skutes were. On the back of the fish, make 0.5" deep incisions (to make the fish more flexible and easier to cut into portions when ready to serve) and place it in the baking dish.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash baby potatoes and fennel. Spread potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish. Slice fennel bulbs 0.3" thick and arrange around the fish. Spray the fish and vegetables with avocado oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover with the lid, and bake for 1.5-2 hours. The inner temp should be around 190F-200F to completely gelatinize the connective tissues.
  6. When ready, arrange thin lemon slices on top of the fish and sprinkle the whole dish with freshly chopped herbs. It is ready to serve!

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 417mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

Source: Lyukum Cooking Lab