Salmon coulibiac

Salmon coulibiac

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(28 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins Plus cooling and resting

More effort

Serves 6

This majestic fish pie makes a brilliant dinner party centrepiece which can be prepared ahead

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen uncooked

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal917
  • fat51g
  • saturates29g
  • carbs73g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre3g
  • protein47g
  • salt7.63g
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  • 4 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 700g skinless, boneless lightly smoked raw salmon fillets (available from Waitrose & Sainsbury's - if you can't find them, use non-smoked raw salmon fillets), cut into finger thick slices
  • 2 x 375g blocks all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

For the rice

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
    Coriander seeds

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 200g basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 400ml fish stock or water
  • zest 1 lemon, juice ½



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • large bunch dill


  1. First, get everything prepared. Boil a pan of salted water, add the eggs and cook for 8 mins exactly. Drain and cool under cold water, then peel and set aside.

  2. Heat half the butter in a non-stick frying pan and sizzle the slices of salmon for 1 min on each side (Pic 1), just to firm up the fillets but not cook them all the way through. Lift the salmon onto a plate.

  3. Now cook the rice. Melt the rest of the butter in the same pan. Add the onion, cumin and coriander seeds, cardamom and star anise, then gently fry for 8 mins until golden. Stir in the rice and add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick (Pic 2), then pour over the stock and season generously. Cover and bring to the boil, then lower the heat to its lowest setting and continue to cook for 10 mins. Turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 mins, then stir through the lemon zest and juice. Set aside to cool. This can be done several hrs in advance. Once cool, stir though the chopped dill.

  4. To assemble the pie, roll out one of the pieces of pastry to a rectangle as wide but a third longer than this magazine (23 x 40cm), then lay on a baking tray. Pack half the rice along the middle of the pastry, discarding the star anise and cinnamon as you do so, leaving a good 5cm border around the edge. Lay the salmon over the rice, then slice the eggs and lay those over the whole salmon layer (Pic 3). Top the eggs with the remaining rice and use your hands to gently pack everything down to a firm, even shape. Brush any stray grains of rice off the border, then brush the border with beaten egg,

  5. Roll the second piece of pastry out to a rectangle slightly larger than the first. Drape over the coulibiac and gently press the edges to seal the 2 pastry sheets together. Trim the edges to neaten and crimp with your fingers or press down with a fork. The uncooked pie can now be chilled, on the baking sheet, for a day or frozen for up to 2 months.

  6. To cook, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Brush the pie all over with beaten egg and, if you want, lightly score the pastry with the back of a knife in a criss-cross fashion, making sure you don’t cut all the way through (Pic 4). Bake for 20 mins, then reduce the heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and continue to cook for 20 mins until golden brown. Leave to rest for 10 mins, then serve in thick slices with a bowl of Dill cream or Herb salsa (see recipes, below).

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Feb, 2018
Well obviously others have rated this highly, so maybe it's just me! But although it looked good, and sliced very well, we didn't find it exceptional. As someone else said, I think the rice had too much of a 'curry' flavour, and the whole thing was just ok. It was perfectly edible, but definitely not worth the effort!
27th Jan, 2017
Absolutely stunning. This was received with oohs and aarhs when presented at the table for a dinner party with friends. It was beautiful and delicious plus it cut very well. First time I've ever made anything like that - going to attempt again tonight. Forgot the cardamoms and used fennel seeds instead of star anise as didn't have any and added the spinach layer as previous comment. Served with a salad and the dill crewmen fraiche sauce.
24th Apr, 2016
Stunning in looks and delicious in taste. As suggested I slightly increased the amount of each spice and added 2 layers of spinach.
9th Dec, 2015
This turned out exactly as the picture looks and was very impressive but my family weren't a huge fan - the spices made the rice taste curried which we didn't think worked with the rest of the dish. I won't rate it as it perhaps just wasn't to our taste but if I made it again I would omit all of the spices from the rice and perhaps just use some lemon and dill.
4th Oct, 2015
I made this receive yesterday and popped it in the fridge for tonight's dinner. . Every one enjoyed it and it looked impressive on the dinner table cooked exactly as per time in recipe. Well worth 5 stars. I added the spinach like previous comments. I also made the dill dip with some fromage frais I had in fridge and just chopped some dill into it. Very tasty.
2nd Aug, 2015
A great make ahead dish although it didn't look quite so neat once I started cutting slices as the rice tended to fall out. I used fresh spinach, as recommended by others, and I'm glad I did as it added a bit more freshness to the dish. Definitely need to add more seasoning than you think, could have done with a bit more taste but was well received.
28th Mar, 2015
@Jamesingham: you asked for the recipe of the dill cream. Do you see the 'Tip' with the recipe of the salsa? This is page 1/3. If you use the arrows on either side of the tip block you'll switch to the other 2 pages. There you'll find the dill cream recipe...
18th Feb, 2015
I have been cooking for many years and always like to try something new. This recipe has to be one of the best meals I have made for a long, long time. Most of all, because the recipe was very accurate in every way - ingredients and cooking time. I would recommend this for anyone entertaining and wants to prepare well before and just pop it in the oven when your guests arrive. I made this for 4 people thinking there would be leftovers and the whole lot was eaten with a fresh salad on the side. It is a centerpiece and worth every penny. 5 stars from me.
26th Aug, 2014
This was a fantastic pie. I made one for just me and my wife and we couldn't eat it all as it was much too much for just two people though we nearly made it. The second time I made this pie I made two smaller ones and entered them in a pie competition and won a prize. They were actioned off for the MacMillan charity and then auctioned off for someone to have and eat. Brilliant!
7th Mar, 2014
Made this twice now and it is stunning. I make it in the morning and pop in the fridge, bring back to room temperature before baking. The smoked flavour of the salmon is essential I think so really try and go for lightly smoked fillets. Sadly not on offer like salmon is often. If you want your pastry super shiny, put the beaten egg on and allow it to dry before baking (yolk only). 2nd time I did it without dill and it definitely was not as good. Also the sour cream mixed with dill and chives went down a storm! polished off both times.


16th Dec, 2017
I want to freeze before cooking. Do I then cook it from frozen or thaw first?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. You can cook from frozen. You'll need to add extra cooking time at the lower temperature, try an additional 15 mins - 20 mins.
10th Jun, 2015
I will be attempting to make the Salmon Coulibiac on Saturday. Please can anyone tell me, who has made this before following this recipe, do you drain the rice BEFORE you add the lemon zest/juice / dill etc or leave the rice in the cooling water and stir it all through sat in the water? Sorry if this seems obvious to most cooks. I would have thought you drain the rice first? Thanks in advance for any help.
25th Feb, 2015
I can't seem to see the recipe for the dill cream on the site. Can anyone help please?! Thank you
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