Spiced salmon coulibiac

Spiced salmon coulibiac

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(6 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 50 mins plus cooling

More effort

Serves 6 - 8
This make-ahead main of pastry-wrapped fish and rice is an extra-special way to serve seafood for a dinner party, spiced with cardamom, cloves and chilli

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (8)

  • kcal647
  • fat37g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs45g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein33g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped



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

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 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…

  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
    Fenugreek seed

    Fenugreek seed

    fenn-you-greek seed

    A popular seed in Indian cookery, in which it's termed methi, this small, hard, mustard…

  • 3 cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • thumb-sized piece ginger, cut into large chunks



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 140g basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 30 mins, then drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • small pack coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds kept in, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 x 320g packs ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 2 x 500g whole salmon fillets, skin removed and pin-boned
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, star anise, fenugreek, cloves, ginger and 1 tsp garam masala. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is a deep golden brown. Add the rice with 250ml water and the bay leaf, and season with salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 15 mins or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is light and fluffy. Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Once cooled, remove the cardamom, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, ginger and bay leaf. Add the coriander, chilli, mango chutney and lemon juice. Check the seasoning, cover and chill until needed.

  2. Take the pastry out of the fridge and leave at room temperature for 10 mins. Unroll the pastry sheets, roll out to make a little wider and put each on a non-stick baking sheet. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to re-chill for 30 mins. Season the salmon on both sides with a little salt and pepper and the rest of the garam masala, then place one piece of salmon on one piece of pastry and cover with half of the rice mixture. Top with the other piece of salmon, then brush around the pastry edges with beaten egg. Cover with the second piece of pastry, pushing down well, then roll the edges over, crimp with a fork to seal and decorate as you like. Can be made ahead and chilled for 1 day. Brush all over with beaten egg and chill for 30 mins.

  3. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake in the oven for 10 mins, then turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue to bake for about 30 mins until the pastry is golden brown. Set aside in a warm place to rest for 10 mins. Serve with the rest of the rice mix (heated or cold) and the Raita (see goes well with).

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Comments, questions and tips

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Richard Thompson's picture
Richard Thompson
29th Dec, 2018
This is a fab recipe and a different alternative to your normal salmon encroute.
30th Dec, 2015
I had 2 large pieces of salmon in the freezer so had to make and cook this dish without freezing in between, as you're not supposed to refreeze the salmon. The pastry looked very impressive - I cut out little fish shapes from the trimmings and stuck them on with the egg wash. My salmon fillets were chunkier at one end than the other, and I matched thick ends and thin ends together when layering with the rice mix. Not sure that was the best idea, as it meant that one end of the pastry had more pastry than fish so next time I would probably reverse the fillets with each other to even out the overall thickness of the coulibiac. But I started slicing at the thicker end, so everyone got a decent wedge and then the thin end was for seconds! My guests were impressed and it looked an attractive dish on my Boxing Day buffet, alongside the Beef Wellington I also made for the non-fish eaters. The rice mixture was tasty and the pastry dish only uses half of it, so everyone got an extra spoonful of this, including the non-salmon eaters! Will happily make this dish again.
26th Nov, 2015
Am just making this, well ahead for Christmas buffet. Now the usual question can I cook this from frozen?
29th Nov, 2015
I'd love to give this a try, but as the Hubby & I are the only ones to be keen on rice dishes, I was wondering how long the rest of the rice mixture can be kept in the fridge: 2 days? 3? it would be nice for something tasty but not too heavy after days of gorgeing... thanks in advance for your advice
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Dec, 2015
Hi there. Provided this is kept in the fridge it will be fine for 2 days.
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