A Wellington, at least in my family, has been seen to be something of extravagance and only cooked on special occasions. The idea to produce a fish Wellington is in line with the traditional thinking behind a coulibiac, a traditional Russian fish pie. This is another fish dish that presents itself extremely well at the table, showing a great deal of technique and flair but also a lot of love and generosity.

Excerpted with permission from The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland, published by Hardie Grant September 2019, RRP $40.00 hardcover. Get your copy here: The Whole Fish Cookbook.

Serves 6.


  • 1 salmon fillet, skinned and pin-boned (Josh also recommends whole ocean perch or sea trout fillet)
  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1 lb 2 oz ready-made puff pastry
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting


  • 5 ½ oz ghee
  • 2 lb 3 oz field mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ½ oz butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • Sea salt flakes
  • 4 ½ oz cooked black lentils, strained


  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. For the mushrooms, heat 2 ¾ oz ghee in a large pot over a medium heat and cook the mushrooms in two batches until golden, about 10–12 minutes each batch. Add all the fried mushrooms back to the pot, then turn the heat up high. Add the butter, onion, garlic and thyme and sauté for 10 minutes until tender and the mushrooms have little to no moisture left. Season with salt to taste, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Drain any excess fat or moisture from the mushroom mix, add the lentils and stir to combine. Cool.
  2. To assemble, cut the salmon fillet in half widthways, then pick the tail half up and position it on top of the other half, ensuring the loin side sits in line with the belly side, so it creates a seamless appearance.
  3. Place a large square of plastic wrap on the work surface, then arrange the nori sheets on top so they overlap, forming a square. Spoon the mushroom and lentil puree onto the nori and spread it out. Position the fillet on top, then pick up the plastic wrap that is closest to you to bring the nori and mushroom puree up over the fillets, forming a log. The puree should completely enclose the fillet. Tie off the plastic wrap at both ends and chill overnight.
  4. The next day, mix all the egg wash ingredients together in a bowl. Roll out a large square of the very chilled pastry that exceeds both the width and height of the salmon log on a lightly floured work surface.
  5. Cut the plastic wrap from the outside of the salmon and position the fish in the center of the pastry. Brush all corners of the pastry with egg wash and roll up over the salmon log. Trim off any excess pastry and brush with more egg wash. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (430ºF). Brush more egg wash over the Wellington and season lightly with sea salt. Bake for 20–25 minutes until brown and the interior temperature has reached 48ºC (118ºF) on a probe thermometer.
  7. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then carve the Wellington into six even slices and serve with good crunchy salad leaves.




Coral Trout
Rainbow Trout

Josh Niland's Fish Wellington

Shop for Salmon

The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland