What Is Russian Coulibiac? Here’s How To Make It

One of the many ways to learn about a country tradition is through its food. You can learn about what kind of taste is the most common for people of a certain country once you taste their original meal. You can also learn about the ingredients, which one is originally planted in the country and which one is used most often in their food. Food can be so fascinating that there will be similar food created in other countries as an attempt to make something at least as good as the initial recipe.

Take curry as an example. Curry is a dish originally comes from the Indian subcontinent which located in the southern region of Asia. It is named curry because it is spiced with leaves from the curry tree. This dish has become famous since a very long time ago that now we can even find curry powder sold commercially. The spices used in the cooking process of curry can be different depends on the regional cultural tradition or religious practice. Even family reference can affect the kinds of spices used in curry cooking. Despite all of that, when you buy curry powder you will find three main spices in it. They are coriander, cumin, and turmeric. The Indian dish now has reached all over the world. Even the United Kingdom calls curry as its adopted national dish and there is an increase of demand for its authentic style of cook. Fascinating right? Just like curry, there are also original dishes of Russia. One of them is Coulibiac. What is it and how do you make it? Let’s find it out!

Russian Coulibiac, What Is It and How to Make It

Here are some of the interesting things about Coulibiac:

  • What Type of Dish is Coulibiac?

Coulibiac is listed in the category of Pirog. Pirog originally comes from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus is a type of dish which cooking process consists of baking a case of dough with a sweet or salty filling in it. The word Pirog is based on the Proto-Slavic language word “pir” which means “banquet” or “festivity”. As the most popular and important food in Russia, it is very easy for you to find this dish anywhere in Russia. There are various shapes of Pirog. The most common one is oblong with thinner ends. But you can also find the one in a circular or rectangular shape. It might seem like Pirog is the same as pies and pastries but it is not. Pirog dough is made with yeast-raised flour. There was some time when the flour was mixed with wheat flour. Nowadays you can find the dough that mainly made with wheat flour.

As mentioned before, Pirog is filled with either sweet or savory filling. If you prefer the sweet one, you can put in fruits such as apples, plums, or many kinds of berries. You can also put in honey, nuts, or poppy seeds. If you like savory flavor, you can put in meat, fish, mushrooms, cabbage, potato, or even rice.


Pirog with either flavor is traditionally enjoyed as a complement of clear borscht, broth, or consommé. Borscht is a sour soup made with beetroots as its main ingredient. The broth is a savory liquid made of water used to simmer meat, bones, or vegetables. Consommé is a clear soup made of clarified richly flavored stock.

  • How to Make Coulibiac?

In Russia, the most popular fillings of Coulibiac are salmon or sturgeon, rice or buckwheat, or hard-boiled eggs. You can also find many with mushrooms, onions, or dill as its filling. If you want to taste the classic one, you can buy make or buy the one with the mixture fillings of white fish, rice, and sturgeon/salmon. For vegetarians that also want to enjoy this dish, worry not! There is also some simple Coulibiac with cabbage or potatoes inside of it. You can bake your chosen filling by putting it first into a pastry shell, such as puff pastry. Now let’s learn how to make Coulibiac!

Ingredients:

Crepes:

  • 16 grams of all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 350 milliliters of milk

Salmon Coulibiac

  • 5 kilograms of skin-on salmon fillets
  • 3 tablespoons of pickling spice
  • 2 lemons (juice)
  • 200 grams of basmati rice
  • 700 milliliters of fish stock
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 40 grams of chopped celery
  • 4 diced hard-boiled eggs
  • 200 grams each of mushrooms and spinach
  • 2 teaspoons each of dill and kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 package of puff pastry
  • A little bit of melted butter
  • Egg wash

Instructions:

Crepe: put together the flour and salt into a bowl and mix it. After that, put an egg into the bowl and mix the dough. Put the other two eggs one by one until it all mixed well. Put in the melted butter, salt, and milk, stir until it reaches the consistency of thin cream.  Then let it rest for 30 minutes. For the next step, you are going to need an 8-inch crepe pan. Heat it and after a while, pour the crepe batter onto the pan. Flip the crepe once the color turns into light brown.


Salmon Coulibiac:

  • Set your oven to 190oC and preheat it. Put the salmon on a baking dish, cover it with pickling spice and lemon juice. Put the baking dish into the oven and poach the salmon. The duration of poaching depends on the thickness of the salmon. It takes 10 minutes for each inch of the salmon to cook well. Once it is done, let the salmon cool down before removing the skin.
  • Now that you have your salmon, you can start cooking the rice. Wash the basmati rice a couple of times, put it into a pot, add the fish stock into it, and cook on a stove for 30 minutes. When it’s done, mix the rice with chopped onion, cumin, coriander, cardamom, bay leaf, chopped celery, diced hard-boiled eggs, spinach, mushroom, dill, kosher salt, and black pepper. Put the mixture in a large bowl and put it aside.
  • This is the last step of making the salmon coulibiac. The first thing to do is roll the puff pastry and make it into the shape of rectangles. Put the first pastry into a baking pan that has been butter brushed. Add 4 crepes on top of the pastry and half of the rice mixture. Add another 4 crepes, a salmon, 1 slice of crepe, and the rest of the rice mixture. Add the remaining crepes on top of it and cover it with the second sheet of the pastry. Brush the top with egg wash and finally roll the edges. Bake it for 45 minutes and there you have your Salmon Coulibiac!

Enjoy your first experience Coulibiac cooking 🙂

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