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It seems to me that when The Boy gets tasked to prepare a “themed” meal, that he gets a little more extreme each time.

Take in point, when the great Iron Chef Shellie recently (okay it was a few months ago) celebrated her birthday and had the theme as Retro Party (coming up in the next post), The Boy got a little wild eyed and started muttering in his sleep of his plans to dish up something amazing.

He kept asking if it indeed had to be “retro” and if he could do something out of the box?

Clearly, the rest of us just stood by and left him alone to his own devices.

What happened next was slightly beyond me.

The day leading up to the party, he was stressed and I had to stand in and assist him in the preparation and “cooking” whilst he ran around the kitchen like a headless chook. This my friends, is how our cooking adventures (and sometimes misadventures) occur almost daily. Once my prep for his desired recipes were completed, he went away to plate up.

This was the result.


Isn’t it just beautiful? He took on his initial idea from my birthday project of the Koi Fish Pie and improved it tenfold I think! With this twist to the classic 70’s salmon rillette, The Boy has once again outdone himself!

Twin Koi Fish Shaped Salmon Rillettes


  • 200 g Fresh Salmon Fillet (skin off)
  • 150 g Smoked Salmon Fillet
  • 3 Tbsp Creme Fraiche
  • 1 tsp Horseradish Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Pickled Gherkins (chopped finely)
  • 2 tsp Chives (chopped finely)
  • 1 tsp Dill (chopped finely)
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Bunch of Red Radishes (pick ones that are small - medium sized)
  • Bunch of Purple Radishes (pick ones that are small - medium sized)
  • Spinach Leaves (washed)
  • Tobiko (Flying Fish Roe)
  • 4 Capers (usually available pickled in a jar)
  • Captain's Table Water Crackers


  • Poach the Fresh Salmon fillets in a pot of water until cooked and flake them on a plate. Set aside to cool.
  • Pan sear the Smoked Salmon fillets in a frying pan until cooked and flake them on a plate. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in both types of Salmon, creme fraiche, horseradish cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chopped gherkins, chopped chives, chopped dill and cayenne pepper.
  • Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to help "harden" the mixture.
  • Using a mandolin, start slicing your radishes really thinly. Keep the radish roots for the barbels (whiskers).
  • Print or draw a template for your koi fishes. If you have a glass platter, place the template underneath it so that it acts as a guide for your moulding.
  • Take the salmon rillette out of the refrigerator and start moulding it on your platter using the template as your guide.
  • Start arranging the sliced radishes from the head and work your way down towards the tail. We used smaller slices for the tail and larger slices for the body.
  • You can use 1 colour (of radish) per koi fish or mix them up. It's all up to you.
  • Use 2 capers for the eyes. As for the barbels (whiskers), use the radish roots kept earlier.
  • For the fins and tail, cut the spinach leaves to represent them. Decorate fins and tail with some Tobiko.
  • We decorated the platter with Mashed Purple Potatoes, Purple Potatoes (cut out as stars), Parsnip Puree, Samphires, Beach Bananas, sprigs of Dill and more Tobiko.
  • Serve with water crackers.


Recipe for the Salmon Rillette itself was adapted & modified from


My guns were put to good use I can assure you in mashing up the beautiful pieces of salmon!


Don’t you think it’s just perfectly OTT? The exact sentiments showcased from Retro dishes from decades past. It was all about the reaction and awe generated from guests when the dish was presented. A little in-your-face, a little over-the-top, sometimes garish and sometimes a little horrendous.


Luckily for all the guests that attended Ms Shellie’s birthday party, it only looked OTT. Everyone was too afraid to eat it lest they ruin the beauty of the fish. It wasn’t until I broke the ice and scraped the head off one of the ‘fishes’ that they started getting into it.


What do you think? Do you love it? Do you hate it?


With the left over salmon rillette, you can place a quenelle on the remaining water crackers and garnish with dill to serve.

We also used some of it to toss over pasta and pickles, making it into a salmon pasta salad πŸ™‚

Happy Birthday (though months belated) once again to Shellie dear πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoyed this ‘present’!