traditional Russian salmon coulibiac recipe

Salmon Coulibiac Recipe (video)

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One of the most decadent and delicious salmon recipes you’ll ever enjoy! It’s touted by many as the ‘best fish pie ever’! This traditional Russian seafood recipe is made with salmon, mushroom rice and eggs wrapped in buttery puff pastry. The salmon pastry is served with a zesty dill lemon sauce. If you like lots of sauce, make sure to make a double portion! This recipe takes time and patients but you’ll be well-rewarded for your efforts! It’s the perfect dish for special holidays and celebrations! This incredible Russian recipe is from my newest cookbook, Beyond Borscht!

Watch My Video!

Watch my step-by-step YouTube video recipe for instructions for making salmon coulibiac! This is one recipe that I recommend watching my video so you get perfect results the first time around! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

What is Salmon Coulibiac?

You may or may not have heard of this delicious salmon recipe before! Coulibiac, or Russian ‘fish pie’ dates back to Imperial Russia. It’s touted by many as the ‘best fish pie ever’! This old-world recipe can be traced back to the 1850’s when it was made popular by Auguste Escoffier. It can made with salmon, sturgeon, trout or even eel, and buckwheat can also be used in place of the rice. It’s easy to see why this decadent dish is so popular for special occasions! This beautiful pastry will delight your guests!

Russian salmon coulibiac puff pastry with lemons and lemon sauce

Easy Mushroom Rice Filling

I like to start this salmon coulibiac recipe with the mushroom rice filling. You can use the mushroom rice recipe from my cookbook, Beyond Borscht, or you can use my ‘Easy Mushroom Rice’ recipe. I have a separate video for this easy recipe so make sure to check it out, too! Prepare the rice according to the instructions below; they’re slightly different from the original recipe. Let the rice cool down completely. You can even make the rice the day before and keep it stored in the refrigerator.

Preparing the Salmon

This traditional Russian recipe can be prepared with salmon, sturgeon or even trout. I love to use salmon since it’s most accessible and readily available. You’ll need a large, 2 pound fillet of salmon with the skin and pin bones removed. If you can’t find a large, full fillet, just piece together 2 or 3 smaller sections. I love to use wild salmon whenever possible since it has the richest flavor. If the fillet is too wide, trim down the sides so the assembled coulibiac isn’t too wide.

I season the delicate salmon with a zesty lemon butter made with fresh dill and smoked paprika. This butter spread is the perfect complement for the fish! Mix together the softened butter and seasonings, then use your hands or a spatula to coat the salmon generously. Make sure to season any salmon scraps and use those as well!

slice of salmon coulibiac with sauce; Russian seafood recipe

Assembling the Dish

Putting together a salmon coulibiac is a breeze if you have everything prepared and follow my step-by-step video instructions! I recommend removing your puff pastry from the freezer the night before and allow it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Roll out the first sheet of puff pastry to fit the salmon comfortably with an 1 to 1 1/2-inches around the perimeter. Make sure to transfer the dough onto parchment paper or a silicone mat before starting to assemble!!

  • Before adding the salmon, add a bed of mushroom rice onto the puff pastry.
  • Arrange the salmon over the mushroom rice and don’t forget to add any trimmed pieces if you have them.
  • Top the salmon with sliced, hard-boiled eggs. The eggs can be prepared the night before, too!
  • Add the remaining mushroom rice on top, molding it into a dome over the salmon. Clean up any loose grains of rice from the puff pastry, or the dough might not stick together very well!
  • Roll out the second sheet of puff pastry wider than the first to easily cover the fillings. Brush the dough with egg wash and the seal the two layers together with a fork.
  • Roll out the third and final piece of puff pastry and cut small slits into the dough. Gently stretch this final piece over the salmon coulibiac, sealing the dough with a fork and then cutting away the edges. I like to leave about a ½-inch seal around the edges.
  • Brush the coulibiac generously with egg wash all over. Bake at 375F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

salmon coulibiac slices with mushroom rice, eggs, sauce and lemons

Lemon Dill Sauce

While the salmon coulibiac is in the oven baking, it’s the perfect time to prepare the dill, lemon and white wine sauce. This sauce is a must for this recipe! It really helps cut through the richness of the dish and highlights the delicious salmon flavors! If you love sauce, make a double portion of this recipe!

First, I melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the diced shallot. The shallot needs to cook until it’s softened but not browned. Next, add in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and wine and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the fresh herbs last and transfer the sauce into a sauce bowl for serving. I also like to enjoy this salmon coulibiac with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top.

Get my Cookbook!

This traditional, old-world Russian recipe can also be found in my newly released cookbook, Beyond Borscht. I wanted to share my video recipe for this dish so that my readers could make it at home more easily! My cookbook has 75 traditional recipes from Eastern Europe, including appetizers, salads, main entrees, soups and even desserts! It’s a must for anyone that loves Eastern European cuisine! It’s available in stores at Barnes & Nobles and online at Amazon, Target, Walmart and many more!

Beyond Borscht cookbook with russian beet soup - borscht and rustic bread

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this Russian recipe? Make sure to check out some of my other Eastern European recipes available on my website!

  • Ukrainian Braised Pork & Potatoes – tender and juicy chunks of pork shoulder braised in a tomato and mushroom gravy, served with mashed potatoes. This dish is so delicious and hearty!
  • Stewed Beef & Potatoes – another incredible comfort food dish, made with tender chunks of beef and potatoes, coated in a tomato sauce.
  • The Best Beef Stroganoff – you’ll love this traditional beef dish made with tender pieces of beef tenderloin with a creamy mushroom sauce and noodles!
  • Classic Beef Borscht – the most iconic Ukrainian recipe! My delicious recipe is made with slow-cooked beef, beets, tomato sauce and cabbage!

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Russian Salmon Coulibiac video recipe

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