Salmon en croûte cut into slices

Next level salmon en croûte

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus 1 hr chilling and overnight curing

More effort

Serves 6-8

Take salmon en croûte to chef standard. Succulent salmon, cream cheese and dill are encased in crisp puff pastry with a pickled cucumber side

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving (8)

  • kcal619
  • fat43g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs24g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre3g
  • protein32g
  • salt2.1g
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    For the cure

    • 50g flaky sea salt
    • 25g demerara sugar
    • 2 x 500g skinless, boneless salmon fillets



      With its delicate, sweet flesh and wide availability, salmon is one of the most popular fish.…

    For the en croûte

    • 75g watercress, chopped



      With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

    • 200g cream cheese
    • 2 tbsp fresh dill sprigs, chopped
    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced



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

    • pinch smoked salt (optional)
    • 500g block all-butter puff pastry
    • flour, for dusting



      Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

    • 2 eggs, yolks only, beaten



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

    For the pickle (optional)

    • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, deseeded and sliced
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 100ml cider vinegar
    • 1 tbsp sugar



      Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…


    1. The day before you want to assemble the en croûte, mix the salt and sugar in a bowl. Scatter half of the mix over a tray, then lay one of the salmon fillets on top, skinned-side down, and scatter with more of the salt mix. Lay the second fillet on top, skinned-side up, and sprinkle over the rest of the salt mix. Cover, then place another tray on top. Weigh the tray down with a couple of tins and put in the fridge for up to 48 hrs, or for at least 12 hrs (the longer you leave it, the firmer the salmon will be). 

    2. When you’re ready to assemble the en croûte, unwrap the salmon fillets, rinse them in cold water and dry with kitchen paper, then set aside. Put the watercress, cream cheese, dill, lemon zest and juice, smoked salt (if using) and a generous grinding of pepper into a bowl and mix well, then set aside.

    3. Line a baking tray with parchment. Roll out half of the pastry on a lightly floured surface so it’s 2.5cm larger in diameter than the salmon fillet, then drape it over the lined baking tray. Place one of the fillets on the pastry, skinned-side down, and spread with the cream cheese mix, then lay the second fillet on top, skinned-side up. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little of the beaten yolk. Roll out the rest of the pastry to fit, then drape it over the salmon and tuck it in at the sides. Trim the edges and crimp or press with a fork to seal. Brush with more beaten yolk, then put the en croûte in the fridge for 30 mins before using a spoon to create a scale-like effect along the top of the pastry. Chill for up to 24 hrs or for at least another 30 mins. 

    4. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake for 20 mins, then glaze with the remaining yolk. Lower the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 20 mins more, then remove and leave to stand for 10 mins.

    5. To make the pickle, put the cucumber and onion in a bowl. Tip the vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt into a pan and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour over the veg, toss well and set aside. Can be made up to two days ahead and kept in the fridge. Slice the en croûte into six portions and serve with the pickled veg on the side.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    jangold's picture
    25th Mar, 2020
    Didn't have watercress, so used rocket leaves. It was delicious.
    5th Jan, 2020
    Thankfully I read the reviews before I cooked on New Year's Eve and so just skipped the brining section altogether. Result was delicious!
    JoolesO's picture
    28th Dec, 2019
    Made for Christmas dinner post Christmas for 8 adults . Salmon cured for 24 hrs and was thoroughly washed in cold water after , However was incredibly salty tasting when cooked . Pickle was delishious and counteracted the salt of the Salmon . Tip : maybe use less salt and more sugar in cure next time.
    25th Dec, 2019
    Really wish I’d read the comments. Did this for my Christmas dinner and it was inedible. Followed to the letter and rinsed very well. Salmon was tough and way to salty to eat. First time I’ve just had roast veg for Christmas dinner.
    Chris Smith's picture
    Chris Smith
    4th Nov, 2019
    Looks impressive but far too salty despite rinsing well. Won't be using this recipe again.
    Val Kelly's picture
    Val Kelly
    8th Aug, 2019
    I've made salmon en croute many times and this recipe seems far too fussy to me ! Salting the fillets and pressing them for hours ? What's that all about ? Sorry I'll stick to my much simpler way - I'm sure it's just as tasty.
    2nd Aug, 2019
    Followed the recipe using the curing (with salt) method suggested in the magazine. Impressive looking dish, but far too salty despite rinsing well. Expensive mistake.
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    Eric Rigby's picture
    Eric Rigby
    28th Dec, 2019
    I had to make tea tonight and we had a 500g fillet of salmon left over from Christmas eve/day that we did not cook. My wife loves salmon but it's not my favourite fish to be fair. Anyhow we had half a pack of puff pastry and I thought I might have a go at salmon en croute, I googled salmon en croute and thought I would have a go at this recipe, Top gear style! I used a standard pyrex oblong dish lined with greaseproof paper, I rolled out just over half of the pastry (125g) for the base and up the sides (not enough I thought at the time). I washed the fillet of salmon under running water and let it drip dry. Luckily the fat end of the fillet filled exactly the width of the dish and the tail was overhanging the other end so I trimmed the excess off and used this offcut to fill in the gaps at the tail end. I seasoned the fillet with freshly ground black pepper and then placed a layer of very thinly sliced rounds of whole lemon over this. Next I spread a whole carton of sour cream and chive dip (200g) and a light sprinkling of grated cheddar. Then I rolled out the remaining pastry to make a lid which I had to tuck down the sides to meet the base pastry (I had visions of this being a complete disaster...but it wasn't). I then separated one egg yolk and applied this using one half of the eggshell as a bowl and applied the stirred yolk with a (washed ) finger as that's all I had to hand. I seasoned this with pepper and a smidge of Himalayan salt and popped in the fridge for half an hour. After which I applied the fish scale decoration with a spoon as directed, the results after were amazing! With no time for the pickle, I used a packet of Onion Sauce mix and sprinkled a small amount of dried dill into this. So after 12 mins at 220 I took the dish out and decided the fish pattern was ok so no more egg required. I set the oven to 160 and cooked for a further 20 mins or so. Honestly my wife was really impressed with this dish... I know cos she had a second, second helping :-). Thanks for the recipe idea it inspired me to make my first ever comment/tip.
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