Très très chou – Saumon en robe de chou à l’estragon

A little alternative to salmon…stuffed in cabbage leaves, a perfect light dish if you want to have fun eating while keeping a thin waste line. As much as I love eating, I really enjoy keeping my weight down and stay in shape. Even though I don’t have a scale, I know when I gain or lose weight on how my jeans fit.

I think the best food is the one you truly enjoy eating and that is healthy, light and flavorful. And yes, it is possible to have it all…

I was at the doctor’s office and of course what best to read when you are in the waiting room, than a five page special on the damages of Mercury in fishes on humans.  As much as I love fish, I think I will slow down on its consumption since it seems that it’s no longer very safe to eat many species such as mackerel, tuna, swordfish, etc… I think we are just polluting the whole planet and we are getting the consequences right back. I have seen that they even sell grey salmon at the supermarket, probably because some people prefer to eat it that way than eat artificial coloring. Grey salmon looks really strange.

I love to stuff cabbage leaves with all kinds of things, and salmon goes perfectly inside those leaves. You could add one egg and some breadcrumbs to the salmon but I wanted to keep it light, so it’s just mixed with herbs. I didn’t make fish fumet since I didn’t have fish bones, so I used a dehydrated one I brought from France, that works fine when you need a quick alternative to home made fish fumet.

For those who don’t have any idea on what chou means, it can have different meanings, could mean “cute”, qu’il est chou ce garçon! this boy is so cute, or cabbage. Ce chou est chou, is quite redundant, isn’t it? After scrutinizing the cabbage for a while, I realized that this big yellow ball can be cute after all.

Ingredients for 6 pieces

  • 2 salmon fillets, skinless and cut in cubes
  • 12 large cabbage leaves, blanched
  • 1 tbs tarragon chopped
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp fish fumet or fish stock
  • 3 tbs dry white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Detach cabbage leaves carefully from cabbage head. Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add salt and blanch the leaves for about 3-4 minutes. When cooked drain, pat dry and lay flat on a smooth surface or wooden board. Remove carefully the hard part of the leaves in the middle that sticks out by trimming it, so it will be easier to wrap the leaves around salmon.

In a mixer, add salmon, shallots, garlic, tarragon, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Mix to obtain a smooth mixture but not too thin.

Place about 2 tbs of salmon mixture in the middle of one cabbage leave, then wrap with another one. Using a kitchen thread, tie the salmon package and set aside. Proceed with the rest of the leaves and fish.

Dissolve fish fumet in 1/3 cup of tbs water, add wine.

Place cabbage packets in a dish sprinkle with olive oil and add 2 tbs fish fumet. Preheat oven at 380F and cook fish for about 30 minutes, turning them and pouring fumet regularly. When the top has become golden, remove from oven, remove thread, add lemon juice and serve. Sprinkle with tarragon leaves and serve with its juice.