Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teriyaki Marinated Salmon Fillet in Phyllo Pastry

So I saw the movie 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' a couple of weeks ago - which was the inspiration behind me sitting down to write this post for my favourite salmon recipe.  This movie is probably one of the best romantic comedies that I've seen in a while.  It’s hilarious (which is almost entirely because of Kristen Scott Thomas) and heart-warming.  And come on....the title alone would make me want to see it....

I picked up this recipe from my Sauces and Marinades class.  There is something about wrapping the salmon teriyaki in layers of butter and phyllo pastry that makes it a-mazing (I am sure wrapping anything in layers of butter and phyllo pastry would have the same effect....I might even consider giving tofu another chance if it was wrapped in layers of butter and phyllo pastry....).  I think the phyllo pastry has the added benefit of 'fancy-ing up' (yes, 'fancy-ing' is a word) the basic salmon teriyaki recipe.  Whatever the reason, the combination is delicious.

This is an adapted version of the recipe that was taught in class.  I turned the marinade into a glaze.  I find the glaze holds better to the salmon once it's wrapped in phyllo.  Should you want to be healthy, you can skip wrapping the teriyaki glazed salmon in layers of butter and phyllo pastry and instead pan fry or grill it.   

Also, since salmon has a lot of natural flavour, make sure you use a low sodium soya sauce - otherwise you will end up with a big salty mess.

Teriyaki Marinated Salmon Fillet in Phyllo Pastry
(makes 4-6 servings)


6 tbsp sherry
1 cup low sodium soya sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sliced ginger
4 tsp crushed garlic
1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 box phyllo pastry
Sesame seeds
1 package panko bread crumbs (can be found at most grocery stores in the 'Asian foods' section)
1 cup sour cream
Lemon zest (to taste)


(1) Combine sherry, soya sauce, brown sugar, ginger and 2 tsp sliced garlic in a small pot
(2) On medium heat, simmer slightly for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
-be careful not to turn the heat up too high, the sugars in the sherry and the brown sugar will burn and give your sauce a bitter taste
(3) Once mixture has thickened (to the consistency of a syrup) remove from heat and let cool completely

Sherry, soya sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic....
(1) Remove the skin from your salmon fillet; Trim off any bits or grey fat
(2) Cut the salmon fillet into serving sizes
-you might want to consider making the serving sizes a little smaller if you intend on wrapping it in Phyllo
(3) Rinse salmon pieces and pat dry

(1) Brush both sides of each salmon piece with glaze.  Let this air dry and then repeat.
-do this on a rack so the excess marinade can drip off
-it doesn't have to be completely dry.  I would give it 10-15 minutes between brushing
***Optional (if not wrapping in phyllo) - At this point you can either grill or pan fry or broil your salmon - basting with any remaining glaze if you so desire***
(2) When salmon has been brushed with a second coat of the glaze and is drying, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add 1 tsp of crushed garlic to butter and let cook for about 30 seconds .  Remove from heat, but don't allow this to cool (to avoid the butter congealing).
(3) Put the panko bread crumbs in a bowl; set aside.

Wrapping Salmon in Phyllo...
As soon as Phyllo senses air, it dries out QUICKLY.  Once it dries out, it will get hard and flaky and eventually you will not be able to work with it.  To avoid this I usually grab a section of damp paper towel (about the size of 1 sheet of phyllo) and cover any unused phyllo while I am working.  This doesn't stop the drying out completely, but it definitely helps.  Also try to avoid working with phyllo near any type of heat source....
Remember to keep phyllo pastry covered with a damp paper towel!
(4) Working quickly, lay out one layer of phyllo on a clean dry counter top; Using a pastry brush, cover the layer with the still warm (so it's still liquid-y) garlic butter.
Alternately, you can cut 1 layer of phyllo into two and use the halves to create layers...
(5) Grab a second layer of phyllo, place on top of first layer
-butter adds flavour but also acts as a glue to keep the layers of phyllo together
(6) Cover the second layer of phyllo with garlic butter
(7) Grab a third layer of phyllo and place on top of the second (remembering to keep unused phyllo covered with damp paper towel), cover the third layer with garlic butter
(8) Put a mound of panko bread crumbs in the middle of your pastry
(9) Place a piece of salmon on top of the panko crumbs
-The bread crumbs are there to absorb any excess moisture
Salmon on top of panko, ready to be wrapped in phyllo!
(10) Enclose salmon in phyllo
-this can be done any number of ways.  I usually wrap the salmon with the phyllo dough like an envelope.  This has the added bonus of creating more layers of phyllo-buttery goodness.
-be sure to use the garlic butter as a 'glue' to ensure that all folded ends of the pastry and 'glued together'
(11) Place folded side down on baking sheet.  Brush top with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
Ready to be baked!
(12) In a 450 degree oven, bake for 15-20 minutes
-Check periodically to ensure that the pastry is not burning
(13) Remove from oven and serve with sauce (below)
So good!
Combine sour cream with lemon zest (to taste).  I usually put about 1/2 tsp of lemon zest.  Garnish with chives.

Salmon can be served with a quick green bean almondine....
Happy Cooking!


  1. Awesome recipe! Like a great for you beef wellington!

  2. I learn so much by reading your blog. That is why I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award! Keep up the great work :)

  3. This sounds incredible, such a great recipe! :)

  4. This sounds great - I love the idea of using a garlic butter in between the phylo layers! I do a salmon in puff pastry that is easy and yummy :)