Repost: I’m Dreaming of a Fried Christmas

This post was originally published for the December 2020 issue of Eat the Marshmallow

Hi Marshmallow Peeps! Anouck speaking, and for this holiday, I asked the family what they wanted to do for our holiday dinner and it was unanimous, they wanted me to make a salmon torte. If your family likes salmon, I’d highly recommend this torte for your holiday meal. It’s festive, it’s customizable (for food sensitivities), it presents well on the table, and most importantly, it is delicious. My recipe comes from my aunt, based in France, so the measurements for the recipe are in the metric system.

Salmon Torte | Tourte au Saumon


2 puff pastry sheets or 2 gluten free pie crusts (since my daughter is sensitive to wheat, I make my own GF crust using America’s Test Kitchen’s pie crust recipe, it’s a really good one)

1 large salmon fresh fillet (about 500g)

1 smoked salmon filet (170g)

3 eggs

1 egg yolk (for brushing over the top crust)

1 large shallot

2 rounded tablespoons of minced fresh parsley

25 centi-liters of creme fraiche or sour cream

salt & pepper to taste, but go light on the salt as the smoked salmon already adds a good bit of salt to the mix

100g of frozen spinach

2 tablespoons of bread crumbs (regular or gluten free)


  1. Parboil the spinach for 3-4 minutes until soft, drain out the water. Wring out the spinach in some paper towels to get out the excess liquid.
  2. Poach the fresh salmon until just cooked through. Let cool and remove the bones from the filet.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Roll out one crust (bottom crust) and lay it into the torte pan/ pie pan/ or any sort of festively shaped baking mold you feel like using.
  5. Mash up the salmon filet with the smoked filet. Add the creme fraiche, parsley, spinach, 3 eggs, shallot, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Mix until well combined.
  6. Fill the bottom torte shell with the salmon mixture.
  7. Roll out the top crust and lay over the filled torte. pinch the edges together and you can even “seal” the edges by brushing a little milk along the edge where the top and bottom crusts meet with a silicon pastry brush.
  8. Beat the remaining egg yolk. With the silicon pastry brush, brush the egg yolk on the top pastry crust.
  9. Make a hole in the middle of the top pie crust and roll a small piece of aluminum foil into a tube. Insert the foil tube into the hole you’ve made in the top crust to make a little “chimney” for heat/ steam to escape while baking.
  10. Place the torte into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes depending upon the oven. The crust should be a golden brown.
  11. Enjoy!! Happy Holidays!


You can serve this torte with a quick little sauce made from sour cream, chopped tarragon, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest. Or serve plain with wedges of lemon to squeeze on to the slices of torte once plated.

I’m Dreaming Of A Fried Christmas

Hello Marshmallow Peeps, it’s Maki. And I’m dreaming of a fried Christmas. Yes. The new KFC is Kentucky Fried Christmas. Actually, forget KFC. We’ll get our fried chicken from Ezell’s, a Black-owned local chain in Seattle. Anyways, whether it is KFC or Ezell’s, we will enjoy that fried chicken dinner because that’s how Christmas is done in my home country of Japan.

It’s true, the Japanese celebrate Christmas with fried chicken and cake. Strange things happen in a country with only 1% Christian population appropriates a Christian holiday. It’s a commercial holiday (which isn’t so far from how we celebrate Christmas in the U.S.), and in Japan, it isn’t even a day off. Think nice restaurant dinner dates for couples, KFC and cake at home for families complete with gifts from Santa for the kids. Christmas in Japan is like an appetizer to the main course that takes place one week later: New Year’s Day.

I usually spend Christmas with my husband’s family in Southern California. Not this year, for obvious reasons. In fact, COVID-19 has shut me out of Japan too. Japan is closed to U.S. citizens seeking tourism and short stays. The irony is that I became a U.S. citizen in 2017 so I wouldn’t risk getting separated from my American husband and our biracial kiddo for any unforeseen reason. Now I can’t visit Japan because it doesn’t recognize dual citizenship. Of all the restrictions brought on by COVID-19, that has been the toughest pill to swallow.

Still, I have a lot to be thankful for. Everyone in our family is in good health, both in the U.S. and in Japan. Moreover, my parents live in the same household as my brother’s family. They are never lonely or bored with my nephew and niece running around. I’m also grateful for the effective vaccines and new treatments for COVID-19. We’ve been through so much these past two years. Why not kick back and enjoy a casual, low-stress Christmas? Fried chicken and cake fit the bill. Let’s replenish ourselves for the new year.

Happy holidays!

Learn how to make Japanese strawberry shortcake!


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