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Salmon Coulibiac

James Beard once described salmon coulibiac as one of the most unusual dishes he ever encountered, and I’m not about to argue with him. Coulibiac is the French adaptation of a traditional Russian dish, kulebiaka, wherein a flavorful mixture of salmon, rice, mushrooms, shallots, hard-boiled eggs, and dill are baked inside a pastry crust.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: French, Pescatarian, Russian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Mike Nadelman


  • 1/2 stick unsalted European butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
  • 1 small bunch of dill
  • 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 pound boneless skinless salmon filet
  • 4 eggs hard-boiled
  • 2 egg beaten for egg wash
  • 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup long-grain rice cooked
  • 1 package puff pastry thawed overnight if frozen
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 350F (Gas mark 4).
  • Heat some of the butter in a saucepan, add shallots, thyme, and cook until shallots are soft and slightly brown. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until soft and dry. Remove from heat and mix with rice and set aside to cool.
  • Spread out a sheet of puff pastry dough and use a rolling pin. Add a layer of the rice, shallot, and mushroom mixture to the center of the pastry. Then add a layer of the chopped spinach followed by the hard-boiled eggs (all in line with each other). You can also optionally slice the eggs first. (my Russian Bubbie used to use hard-boiled Quail eggs wrapped in spinach, but they might be hard to find and peel.
  • You can fill any gaps in the sides with more rice mixture if needed. Then place the salmon filet on top of the assembled mixture. Chop up the dill and place it on top of the salmon. You can add leftover rice, mushrooms, or spinach on top. Use a pastry brush to "Paint" using the egg wash around the outside of the dough. Then wrap the loaf and trim the excess dough off.
  • Flip the loaf over onto an oven pan and brush the additional egg wash all over the loaf. You can use the leftover strips of dough to decorate your loaf.
  • Place in oven and cook until the pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Slice and plate then drizzle with roasted red bell pepper sauce around the salmon