Salmon coulibiac

Salmon coulibiac

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(26 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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12th Feb, 2014
This dish is absolutely beautiful. Ideal to make for a dinner party, you prepare it all before hand and leave it in the fridge until your guests arrive. It cooked to perfection and I added a little fish motif on the top to personalise it! I made the sour cream & chive dip and served it with baby new potatoes and spring vegetables - all went together beautifully! The only thing I left out was the fresh dill - Sainsburys had ran out! I don't think this mattered at all as there was certainly enough flavours for us...
17th Nov, 2013
Not too difficult to make, looks really impressive and tastes very good. Would recommend making for party. Very filling so don't need many side dishes. I also added spinach under the egg and tasted great!
21st Oct, 2012
I made this recipe for a dinner party last night. I was a little worried about it being a whole dish in one but it was perfect and so well received. It takes a little time but once it's done, there is nothing else to worry about!
25th Aug, 2012
Made Coulibiac a few times. One recipe that I used said use fresh spinach aswell. So a layer of rice, then spinach, then Salmon then egg, another of spinach and finally another rice. Use plenty of seasoning. Nice with New Potatoes and Dill sauce. Yummy! A must try.
24th Jun, 2012
Hi CathE. I would definitely defrost in the fridge first.
9th May, 2012
This is the first time I have used this particular receipe although I have made one before. This is the first time I have frozen the prepared coulibiac and I wonder how this affects the cooking time. Should I defrost first or cook from frozen? Can anyone help?
27th Mar, 2012
Absolutely love this recipe, a work colleague told me about this recipe but could not remember how to make it. Googled it and came across this one and it is by far the best one tried.
2nd Mar, 2012
Made this for my sister's dinner. It went down a treat! only 7 people for the dinner, and they ate the whole thing! It does take a bit of time, but it is not difficult at all, and totally worth it. The taste, the look and the compliments made it all worth while.
3rd Feb, 2012
I have made this twice and it is the perfect dinner party main course as, although it is a bit fiddly, it can all be done well in advance - so nice tidy kitchen and serene hostess when guests arrive! It tastes delicious and looks amazing.
15th Jan, 2012
Worth the effort and definitely dinner party material! The rice is superb and l'll copy this for making other meals. Dill cream was excellent - and so simple - although I think would work just as well with low fat youghurt.


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