Koelebjaka s sjomgoj – how do you pronounce it? Seriously, I have no idea at all.. Certainly not germanic.. A difficult language to learn, I’m sure. Do you know what language this is? If I don’t have the book where I found it, then I won’t have known what it means..

Well, “Koelebjaka s sjomgoj” is Russian for Salmon Pie. I bought a cookbook with Russian recipes recently and this is the 1st recipe I’ve tried. The ingredients list is simple and the preparation method seems simple enough.. So, we had it for dinner.. 😀

“This Russian specialty consists of a pie pastry which is filled with smoked salmon, hardboild egg and rice. All sorts of baked goods are very popular in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia. Luxurious pies are used as an invitation to a party during the Tsar period and the skills of the hostess was measured by her pies. Quality ready-made pastry with real butter is a good replacement for homemade pastry now.”

Recipe from The Russian Kitchen by Elena Makhonko

Serves 4


  • 4 eggs
  • 50g basmati or jasmine rice
  • salt
  • 300g gravadlax or smoked salmon
  • 15 g fresh dille, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp smetana (russian sour cream) or creme fraiche
  • 8 pcs puff pastry, defrosted
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs


  1. Put eggs in a pot covered with water. Bring to a boil. Adjust heat and cook for 10 mins. Drain and cool eggs under cold running water. Peel eggs and chop them finely.
  2. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil, add in rice and stir till rice doesn’t stick to bottom of pot. Cook rice for 20 mins, drain in a colander and run rice under cold water.
  3. Cut gravadlax into strips and put in a big bowl. Mix eggs, rice, dille and smetana thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Preheat oven to 220C. Roll dough/puff pastries into 40x20cm pieces and put on a lightly wet baking tray or use baking paper. Divide filling on length half of dough. Brush edges with water and fold other half of dough over filling. Press dough edges firmly with a fork so that filling is sealed tightly.  (What I did was fill 4 pcs of puff pastry evenly with filling and cover each of them with another pc of puff pastry. Then seal edges firmly with a fork.)
  5. Beat egg yolk and water together. Brush pies with it and prick the top with a few holes (with a fork’s good). Sprinkle with some breadcrumbs over top of pies.
  6. Bake pies in oven for 12-15 mins till golden brown. Remove from oven and leave it for 5-10 mins before slicing/cutting into pieces to serve.


The ingredients could be layered on dough/pastry, instead of mixing everything up. Start with rice, then salmon, smetana, eggs and dille. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste between layers.

We enjoyed it very much. 1 pie each is enough for us with the way I made the pies.. It didn’t seem much but it was really filling coz of the rice, I think.. It was easy and good; if I’ve the chance, I’ll make it again.. 

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