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A Classic Grand Kulebiaka Recipe

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One of the best dishes to come out of Russia must be the Kulebiaka. Like the pies in contemporary British food, a Coulibiac is a pastry pie filled with a general mixture of ingredients.

You’ll normally find salmon or sturgeon with rice, onions, dill, and mushrooms. Contemporary versions of a Kulebiaka might substitute couscous or another starch for the rice, while you can also find incredible vegetarian versions with cabbage and potatoes. The key to making a good Kulebiaka is having a firm yet flaky pastry or bread surrounding the filling.

Think about what you’d see on top of a chicken pot pie, and that’s the kind of pastry you want to have for your Kulebiaka. If you’re in a pinch, a generic puff pastry from the grocery store would also work to create this Russian culinary masterpiece.

What is a Kulebiaka?

A kulebiaka is a Belarusian dish of boiled rice, beaten egg, and milk or cream. It’s often served as a dessert or afternoon snack and can be made into a savory dish by adding meat or vegetables.

The kulebiaka is a classic dish from the Eastern European country of Belarus. It’s rice, eggs, and milk or cream mixture boiled in water until cooked.

The Kulebiaka recipe is a favorite sweet treat for children. This recipe is also perfect for adults when served with fruit sauce as an afternoon snack. Kulebiaka comes from the Russian word for “pie.”

History of Kulebiaka

The kulebiaka is a Russian dish that has a long and rich history. The dish is fish, mushrooms, and rice and is usually wrapped in pastry dough. The kulebiaka was first mentioned in Russian literature in the 16th century and was considered a dish for the aristocracy.

In the 18th century, the kulebiaka became popular among the Russian peasantry. Today, the kulebiaka is a classic Russian dish that people of all ages enjoy.

What are the main ingredients of Kulebiaka?

Kulebiaka is a Russian dish that is made with fish and rice. The fish is usually wild, and flaked salmon is boiled and mixed with the rice. The dish is then wrapped in pastry dough, where the excess dough is removed and baked.

The dish consists mainly of fish broiled with onion and parsley, lemon juice, carrot mincemeat (or finely grated carrot), and tomato paste or tomato sauce mixed into the broth.

Why it’s so popular?

The kulebiaka is popular because it’s a delicious and easy-to-make dish that people of all ages can enjoy. It’s also a great way to use leftovers since you can add any ingredients.

See Related: Potato Soup: A Traveleering Staple

Different types of Kulebiaka

There are many delicious recipes for Kulebiaka; some come with various fillings. Here are five different types to try!

1. The Classic Grand Kulebiaka

Russian dish made of yeast dough stuffed with sauerkraut
vivooo / Shutterstock

This type of pie is made of Beef, bacon or ham, tasso ham andouille sausage, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, and carrots simmered in stock until tender, then wrapped in a large piece of puff pastry.

2. Crab and Shrimp Kulebiaka

This type of pie is made of Jumbo lump crabmeat, shrimp, sautéed onions and celery, red bell peppers, garlic, white wine, and cream, then wrapped in a large piece of puff pastry.

3. Vegetable Kulebiaka

This type of pie is made of Assorted fresh vegetables, such as zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, mushrooms, and red pepper, then wrapped in a large puff pastry.

4. Chicken Kulebiaka

This type of pie is made of Sautéed chicken breast, onions and celery, red bell peppers, garlic, white wine, and cream, then wrapped in a large puff pastry.

5. Salmon Kulebiaka

This type of pie is made of fresh-caught wild salmon, fresh dill weed, lemon juice, green onion, and capers, then wrapped in a large piece of puff pastry.

It is a salmon coulibiac, a classic dish with salmon and cooked rice. It is typically baked in a puff pastry shell and can be served as an appetizer or main course. Salmon coulibiac is a variation of the traditional recipe, made with wild Alaskan salmon. This dish is healthy, flavorful, and easy to prepare.

What are the best ways to serve Kulebiaka?

Large Servings of Salmon Coulibiac
Chicago Steak” by Edsel L is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

There are many ways to serve Kulebiaka, but the most traditional and popular way is to bake it in the oven. You can also fry it, but baking it gives it a nice crust and prevents it from becoming too greasy. Serve Kulebiaka with sour cream, dill sauce, or enjoy it alone.

You Can Fill a Coulibiac With Virtually Anything

Of course, we’ve discussed the traditional fillings in a Kulebiaka, but you can put just about anything in there and call it tasty! One of the non-traditional versions of this dish is what I like to call the Shepherd’s Kulebiaka. I create the exact filling you’d get with a Shepherd’s Pie [lamb, carrots, onion, peas, potatoes, and a little parsley], gravy, and all.

But then it gets surrounded by the Kulebiaka’s flaky goodness. Instead of using rice, the mash goes in below, not above, the rest of the ingredients.

One of the unique variations that the Russians and French have taken with this dish is to use vesiga as the primary protein of the dish. Vesiga is the spinal marrow of the sturgeon that has been removed in one long piece.

The vesiga is dried and looks like one long, gelatinous ribbon before it is prepared! It was considered an upper-class ingredient when its use was popular, but it is nearly impossible to locate this ingredient today.

See Related: 5 Mother Sauces

For an Added Touch, Consider Hard Boiled Eggs

That’s right – the traditional Kulebiaka also includes hard-boiled eggs as part of the dish. In many ways, it is the ultimate leftover meal for a cold Russian winter’s evening when you need to save some money.

Mix the flour into a dough, take the leftovers you don’t want to spoil, wrap it with that dough, and then bake it until it tastes wonderfully good! Brown the bread by basting it with some butter periodically during the cooking process, and you’ve got yourself a culinary delight!

You Know It’s Good If the French Steal It!

The French, who call this dish a Coulibiac, discovered that these Russian hot fish pies were an excellent idea. They were so good they’d also take them on as part of their cuisine. Many credit the famed French chef Auguste Escoffier as being the one to bring these pies to France.

This classic salmon coulibiac recipe is made in a kulebiaka, a traditional Russian pastry. His most famous cookbook even includes several Kulebiaka recipes! What is different about the French version of this dish is the level of butter used to create it. Vent holes are placed strategically around the top of the pie to ensure that the Coulibiac cooks appropriately.

Then, you’d put a generous slab of butter in each vent hole to clog the pie’s arteries as it cooks! Other sauces have been used as well, most notably Hollandaise, but let’s be honest – buttered fish with rice and herbs is a winning combination.

How to Cook Kulebiaka

Kulebiaka Recipe For the Pastry

Prepared Kulebiak dish that is ready to cook
vivooo / Shutterstock


  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced ham
  • 1/4 cup diced cooked salmon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 1/8-inch-thick (3-mm-) sheet. Trim even with the edge of the pan. In a small bowl, whisk together and add beaten egg, milk, and butter; brush over the pastry. Sprinkle with salt.

Combine cheese, ham, salmon, onion, garlic, dill weed, and pepper; spread over pastry. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Cut into 12 slices. Place on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack.

Kulebiaka Recipe For the Filling

Kulebiak  cuisine stiff with meat
vivooo / Shutterstock


  • 1.5 lb. of boneless, skinless salmon
  • 1/2 lb. of butter
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 lb. of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 lb. of cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp
  • 1/4 lb. of crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, constantly stirring until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

Stir in Parmesan cheese, dill, salt, freshly ground black pepper, mushrooms, shrimp, crabmeat, wine, and olive oil. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Add onion and garlic; bake for 10 minutes or until the onion is tender. Serve over cooked pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes.


What is Kulebiaka?

Kulebiaka is a Russian dish made from a puff pastry sheet filled with fish, mushrooms, shrimp, and crabmeat.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can. The dish can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. You may also freeze it for up to two months.

What kind of fish can I use for the filling?

You can use any fish that you like. However, a firmer fish is best, so it doesn’t fall apart when baked. Salmon or trout work well.

Where does Coulibiac originate, and what is it?

Coulibiac is a Russian dish from the word kulebiaka, which means “a big fish pie.”
It is made with various fillings, such as salmon, crab meat, or sturgeon, and is often served with a creamy sauce. Coulibiac is considered a classic Russian dish and is a popular choice for special occasions.

Who invented Coulibiac?

The dish’s namesake is generally believed to be a Russian prince named Nicholas Orloff, who lived in Russia and Paris from the end of the 18th century through much of the 19th. Prince Orloff was assassinated in 1831 by an agent sent by Tsar Nicholas I.

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  1. Graeme Sandlin says:

    Sure! I like to use this recipe for the puff pastry

    Once that dough is made, simply wrap your chosen ingredients into the pastry to create a “pie.” Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or so until the pastry is golden brown. For added flavor, baste the pastry with butter about halfway through. Cooking times may vary based on how big you make your pie. Let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving!

  2. Dana says:

    Yummy! What is the recipe please?