Seafood pie

all details

This is my idea of a great seafood pie, loaded with prawns, fish and scallops with a silky, fennel seed and saffron-spiked sauce, peas, fine shavings of potato, a lift of lemon, flecks of fresh parsley and dill, and a golden crust of flaky puff pastry. Just add a simple green salad.

Deep dish fish: Karen Martini's seafood pie of flathead, scallops and prawns.
Deep dish fish: Karen Martini's seafood pie of flathead, scallops and prawns. Photo: Marcel Aucar


75g butter, plus extra

2 pinches saffron threads

75g plain flour

900ml quality fish stock, hot

2 desiree potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced on a mandoline

1 bunch spring onions, cut into 4cm lengths

1/2 cup frozen peas

extra virgin olive oil

6 shallots, sliced

2 leeks, sliced

5 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tsp ground fennel

salt flakes

freshly ground black pepper

300g small flathead fillets (or your favourite white-fleshed fish), boneless

150g green prawn cutlets, sliced in half lengthways

150g scallops

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 handful parsley leaves, chopped

1 handful dill fronds, chopped

1/2 cup Israeli cous cous, cooked per packet instructions

1 rolled piece puff pastry, chilled

1 egg, to glaze


1. Preheat your oven to 200C fan-forced or 220C conventional.

2. In a heavy-based pot, melt the butter with the saffron. Add the flour and cook, stirring, on medium heat for one minute then whisk in the hot stock. Bring to the boil and add the potatoes, simmer for eight minutes on low heat while stirring. Remove from the heat, add the spring onions and peas and set aside.

3. In a small pot, add a splash of oil and some extra butter and sweat off the shallots, leeks and garlic. Add the ground fennel and a generous grinding of pepper, season with salt and cook for 10 to 15 minutes while stirring constantly.

4. Toss the seafood in a little oil and sear in three batches in a very hot, large frying pan, seasoning as you go - note you are not cooking through, just searing.

5. Add the seafood, lemon juice and zest, parsley, dill and cous cous to the pot with the stock and potatoes, add the leeks, shallots, garlic and spice mixture. Mix through, adjust the seasoning if necessary and transfer to a pie dish about six-centimetres deep (you can use any shape, but the gap between the top of the filling and the pastry shouldn't be too large).

6. Cut the pastry the same shape as your dish but with a three-centimetre overhang. Brush the top edges of the dish with egg and drop the pastry on top. Decorate the pie with pastry scraps and cut some slits to release steam. Brush the pastry with egg and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and the mix is bubbling.

Serves 6

Drink A chardonnay with a bit of weight and texture.


1. Make sure the pan is hot and not crowded when you fry the seafood, as you only want to sear it quickly.

2. Picked crabmeat or flaked smoked trout would also work well in this pie.

3. If you want to make your own puff pastry you can find my rough puff pastry recipe here.

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  • Main Ingredients - Fish, Shellfish, Potato
  • Course - Main-course, Dinner
  • Occasion - Family meals, Dinner Party, Easter

5 comments so far

  • Baked fish pies I've made and eaten are usually tasty because they are encapsulated in the pastry. Vey simple ingredients. This one has too many ingredients competing with each other. I'd go a more English style except for the absence of cod in Oz. Oh well.

    Date and time
    June 13, 2014, 2:00PM
  • Just made this fish pie. Delicious but near disaster. Had it in the oven, little pastry fish and all and noticed I had not added the sweated leeks, shallots and garlic. Yikes! Had to whip it out and scrape off the partly cooked pastry to add it. The recipe neglects to tell you to add it at any point. Be warned.

    Date and time
    June 13, 2014, 8:28PM
    • Hi Annie - thank you. The leeks etc... should be added at step 5. Apologies. We have added this into the method.

      Good Food team
      Date and time
      June 16, 2014, 1:55PM
  • Made this yesterday evening. Not difficult. Used more seafood than suggested. A great success. Thanks Karen

    Date and time
    June 15, 2014, 9:36PM
  • Time-consuming to prepare, but really worth the effort! Made this for the family last night and they all loved it. There was some nice fresh fennel at the green-grocer, so used that instead and added it thinly-shaved to the leeks and shallots in step 3, and the fronds in step 5. Like the comment above, had to re-read the recipe several times before realising that a step had been missed. Also added a decent dollop of my wife's home-made XO sauce (chili, Chinese mushroom, dried scallop, etc) for a bit of zing.

    Date and time
    June 19, 2014, 9:04AM

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