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Salmon Pie - Kulebyaka (Кулебяка)

Three years ago today, Kishore started his new job and to celebrate we went to a fancy restaurant. We had been talking about where to travel next and I brought up the possibility of visiting my dear friend Natalia in Russia. Since he had never really had Russian food he decided we'd go for an introduction at The Russian Tea Room in NYC. The menu consisted of Blinis with Red Caviar, Blinis stuffed with wild mushrooms and sour cream, Flounder in Polish Sauce, and of course the Salmon Kulebyaka...verdict  -- he loved it!

Early last year, Natalia came to visit us from Moscow, she was nice enough to bring me a Russian cookbook and some kitchen accouterments, and Ushankas for Kishore and John. While she was here we shared time and recipes in the kitchen; trading family cooking stories and secrets, adding new flavors and memories to our palate. We had a great time together and thinking back on these memories this week, I decided to try my hand at kulebyaka. While it is a time consuming process, if made right, it is completely worth it. Great Russian writer Anton Chekhov famously referred to it as, "a shameless temptation...butter drips like tears, and the filling is fat, juicy, rich..."

For my version I used wild rice, instead of the more traditional kasha (buckwheat) and omitted the mushrooms in favor of more onions. This is a great filling healthy fish dish, perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner. 

Here's my recipe for Salmon Pie - Kulebyaka (Кулебяка):
Salmon Pie - Kulebyaka
Serves 4-6


1 lb Salmon filet
1 Cup Wild Rice
5 Eggs
3 cups Unbleached Flour
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Milk
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Sugar
 1 ½ tsp Dry Active Yeast
2 Tbsp Fresh Dill, chopped
3 Sweet Onions, sliced
Salt & Pepper


1. To prepare dough mix flour, yeast, milk, 2 eggs, 4 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sour cream, and mayonnaise; mix thoroughly and let it sit for 30 minutes. Cook rice in chicken stock and after it's done add salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp minced fresh Dill, let cool to room temperature. Hard boil 2 eggs, when finished peel and mix in salt, pepper, 1 Tsp minced fresh Dill, and 1 Tbsp Sour Cream; let cool to room temperature. Cook onions till brown and caramelized. Steam the fish till par cooked, ~10 minutes.

2. Roll out dough to a 1/8" thick rectangle twice the width of the piece of fish. Add the first layer of seasoned rice, then onions, followed by the fish. Top with thin slices of butter, chopped fresh Dill, and egg mixture.

3. Preheat oven to 400
°F. Fold the dough over and pinch close on all sides, make slits for steam release and remove excess dough. Brush the top completely with Egg wash. *Use excess dough to decorate the top, make sure to coat with Egg wash.*

4.  Bake until light crispy brown, 20-30 minutes.
5. Slice while still warm and serve.

  Serve Hot with Soup and Roasted Root Veggies, Enjoy!

I have entered this post in January 2018 Inheritance Recipes, hosted by  Pebble Soup and Coffee & Vanilla


  1. What a lovely story, thank you for sharing with the Inheritance Recipes!
    This salmon kulebyaka looks amazing!!! I make something very similar (Polish Kulebiak) but it is stuffed with mushrooms and sour cabbage... your Russian version sounds more interesting :)


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