{made} salmon wellington

8:51 AM sians 1 Comments

"encased in pastry
moist pink fish flakes atop leeks
salmon wellington"

i am most certainly not a poet... but i try with the haiku.

perhaps i should start with the story behind why salmon wellington became my next food project/experiment.

so, i could either blame it on or give credit to the first season of masterchef canada...

i watched one of the episodes for the first season of masterchef canada and guess what intimidating dish that headlined the pressure cooker test that threatened to send one of the cooks home: exactly! salmon wellington (was it not obvious enough?)

also known as salmon en croute, i'd categorize it as the healthier sister dish of the famous beef wellington. it intrigued me when one of the judges on the show professed that although the dish may look easy to prepare, to cook it right was the challenge since the fish is encased in a blanket of puff pastry. this is especially true since you can't gauge the doneness of the salmon (moist and not overcooked) as it is hidden in a golden package of the perfectly cooked through puff pastry.

that was exactly what MADE me do it.. it was the challenge and my curiosity if i could actually do it right! that and my desire to learn a new simple recipe which can be found at the bottom of the entry.

{ veg. prep. }

{ mise en place. }

{ leeky filling. }

{ wrapping. }

{ egg wash. }

fin. }

{ side. whipped. }

made a couple of modifications due to the scarcity of the ingredients. the addition of mushrooms and substitution of white wine with apple cider vinegar + sugar mixture at a lesser extent as well as the substitution of dijon mustard with whole grain mustard for the whipped cream to be served on the side.

as it came out fresh from the oven, the pleasant aroma of pastry and the leeks emanated and filled the kitchen, whetting the appetites. from the scores on top of the pastry, the natural oils from the salmon bubbled as it cooled while the leek-mushroom stuffing spilled our of the pastry pocket seam that burst opened. i smiled with a slight smugness as i counted the layers that promised flakiness. 

using a serrated knife to cut into the pastry, slight disappointment struck when i realized the bottom of the pastry was slightly undercooked and almost soggy. despite that, you will first sink your teeth through the golden crispy shell that encase the flaky, butteriness of the pastry that echoed the richness of the perfectly seasoned, moist salmon and finally cut through by the hearty, sweet onion flavor of the leeks-mushroom stuffing, flavored with a borrowed hint of apple cider vinegar tartness. pair it with the light, airy whipped whole grain mustard cream to bring the whole dish together. 

one comment from my fellow tasters having the pastry thicker for a better ratio of salmon to pastry -- too much fish, not enough pastry although personally, i prefer the way it turned out... and i think a combination of dijon mustard with the whole grain would have been nice for the bite.. minus those two, my effort was rewarded with encouraging, positive feedbacks and even a request for recipe sharing!

half portions served with a side salad would make a lovely lunch/dinner. it always helps when this hearty dish is really simple to make. 

a recipe for keeps, perfect for entertaining.

salmon wellington
adapted from food network
makes 2 strudels, sufficient to serve 4 persons

ingredients |
  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed (follow packaging instruction)
  • two 1/2 lb. portions (1 lbs in total, 2 fillets) of salmon fillets, skin removed 
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 fat leeks, washed and trimmed (white parts only), sliced on a bias
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 5 fresh button mushrooms (or 3 fresh shittake mushrooms), chopped roughly 
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of white wine (i replaced with 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar & 1/3 tsp of sugar)
  • 1 egg plus a tsp of water for the egg wash. 
mustard cream
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard (substituted with 1/5 tbs whole grain mustard)
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • black ground pepper

directions | 
  • in a heavy skillet, melt the butter on medium, saute the leeks and red onion for about 8 minutes until soft. add the mushrooms about 5 minutes in.
  • season with salt & pepper and add the tarragon and wine and bring to a boil until the liquid is totally cooked off.
  • set aside and cool the leek-mushroom mixture. 
  • on a floured board, roll out the puff pastry into sheets, making sure it is wide enough to wrap the salmon fillets. (if you purchased them as puff pastry sheets you can skip this step)
  • line the baking sheet with parchment paper . 
  • lay the cooled leek-mushroom mixture on the bottom of the puff pastry.
  • make sure the salmon fillets are patted dry to avoid the pastry from getting soggy. season each fillet on both sides with salt and pepper and then rest the salmon atop the leek-mushroom mixture.
  • fold the pastry to cover the salmon and leek-mushroom mixture, making little packages. 
  • pinch the edges closed with your fingers and place them seam sides down onto the baking sheet.
  • brush with egg wash all over and score the top of the packages with a paring knife.
  • bake at 400 F for 25 minutes (dependent on the thickness of your salmon)
  • make sure you let rest for about 20 minutes before cutting it in half with a serrated knife.
  • serve with mustard cream (directions below)

mustard cream

  • whisk the mustard and cream together and season with pepper. 
  • keep refrigerated until ready to use.

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


This sounds lovely and really tasty. Thank you for sharing this.