Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Surprise Cabbage Pies

Be patient, you’ll see why in a moment
In an attempt to use up the remaining cabbage in the fridge, this recipe began as a version of the Russian kulibiaka (pronounced koo-leeb-yah-ka). Kulibiaka is a pastry pie traditionally made with cabbage, however this quickly morphed into the French adaptation of the coulibiac (pronounced koo-leeb-yahk) which includes rice, mushrooms, hard boiled eggs and salmon, but of course I wanted to make a relatively quick vegetarian alternative. So this is what we ended up with. I know, absolutely nothing like the real thing, but we enjoyed them. The subtle flavour of the cabbage came through with the parsley, and the surprise: simply a hard boiled egg.
These cabbage pastry pies were quite large, so I actually though that you don’t need very much else with it, but D my husband, demi-vegetarian by association had other ideas. Today he insisted that he wanted his served with some salmon. He had decided that he wanted his cabbage pie to be as close to a coulibiac as it could be. I let him be. I think it is good of him to be eating what I cook for him and without fuss I hasten to add, so I wasn’t going to make an issue of the accompaniment on his plate.
Surprise Cabbage Pies
Serves 2 greedy people or 4 with accompaniments
250g cabbage, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, kept whole or cut in half if making 4 portions
3 - 4 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
375g ready rolled puff pastry
Heat oven to gas mark 6.Cook cabbage in boiling water until tender, drain and set aside. Heat the oil and cook the onion until soft, add the cabbage, stir well and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the parsley. Season well. Either cut out 2 round circles with the puff pastry, you may need to re-roll the pastry or use the ready rolled pastry as it is and spread the cooked cabbage, leaving about ½ inch for sealing. Then put in the egg, either half or whole, and then gently pull the pastry ends to pinch together to seal (look at image below), gently transfer onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake in oven for 20 - 30 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Serve immediately. Please note these pies can be made either into individuals portions, or in a long loaf style.


  1. WOW! This is lovely, I would like to like this. We have something similar in Chinese bun Cai Bao, ingredients include turnip, carrot, mushroom, black fungus, dried shrimps...

  2. Nicely done, I like this and could easily modify it with tofu, beans instead of egg.

    Looks like great summer picnic food.

  3. I've been loving the cabbage recipes...can't wait to try them out. I will, eventually! And the beetroot pastry looks very intriguing...if only I love, LOVE beets. Man...I need to hunker down and start trying some of your recipes!!

  4. Thank you Ancoo,
    The Chinese bun does sound intriguing. I have to admit my experience of eating Chinese food is very limited.

    Well said Kella. I should have written easily adaptable for my vegan friends, but as you rightly pointed out it can be altered to suit different diets. I had some left over last night and made a plain cabbage pasty for my husband, which he is taking into work for lunch today.

    Thank you RuckusButt,
    Please do try some of the cabbage recipes.
    I understand your reservations about the beetroot, but keep trying you may eventually get to 'like' it, if not 'love' it. I am in between - not minding it now and again

  5. It is a surprise. I didn't expect to see an egg in there. It looks delicious.

  6. This is just beautiful, I will definately be making this sometime this week. Thanks for sharing it!

  7. oohh you are making me rumble - stop it ! :-) loving the egg surprise there.

  8. I love the egg surprise! Your pastry dough is SO beautiful - I'm very impressed!

  9. Thank you Jo.
    It was a pleasant change.

    Thanks so much Janet.
    I do hope you enjoy it when you make yours.

    Thanks Scented Sweetpeas.

    Thank you Astra.
    Please don't be misled, the puff pastry was ready rolled and shop bought, me making my own puff pastry - now you are seriously making me laugh!

  10. I love it. I'm always looking for things to do with cabbage. I usually make a strudel, but I love the surprise egg in there. Coulibiac, now that was an unknown to me.

  11. Thank you Nicole.
    I've come across a number of vegetarian versions of Coulibiac, maybe next time I will actually follow a recipe to make it.

  12. Oops, part of my previous sentence got eaten! It was supposed to say 'if only the beets in my house lasted long enough to make it with pastry. I love, LOVE beets' So yeah, I am a die-hard beet fan, they just get consumed too quickly!

  13. This looks great! I love the surprise egg amongst the cabbage. A wonderful idea when I have leftover cabbage.

  14. Thanks RuckusButt.
    I've been having a little problem with blogger comments section recently. and am concerned why part of your message got eat up. Thanks for coming back and completing it though. Someone else wrote recently that their message seemed to have got lost in cyberspace. I can only scratch my head.

    Thank you Saveur.

  15. Wow! I love the surprise egg. I really struggle with cabbage and don't know what to do with leftovers in the fridge.
    Another great post! :)

  16. Thank you so much Grapefruit.


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