Poached Salmon

Poached salmon one of the fastest, easiest ways to cook this fish! This recipe comes out elegant and perfectly tender.

Looking for a quick way to cook salmon? Try Poached Salmon! This method might not be the most popular, but it’s seriously fast and easy: just 15 minutes start to finish. The result? Perfectly tender, mild fish that melts in your mouth. When it’s seasoned correctly, poached salmon is irresistible: try it with a creamy sauce or flaked into a salmon Caesar salad. To be honest, Alex had to convince me on this idea: but upon first bite, I was sold.

Ingredients for this poached salmon recipe

Poached salmon is simple and requires just a handful ingredients: a great piece of fish and the elements of the poaching liquid. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Salmon fillets, wild caught if possible. Start with a fresh piece of fish if you can, but you can use frozen in a pinch.
  • Dry white wine or broth: Use vegetable or chicken broth if you prefer not to open a bottle of wine.
  • Water
  • Lemon
  • Fresh dill
  • Capers
Poached Salmon

Pros and cons of poached salmon

Poached salmon isn’t a popular way to cook this fish: more often you’ll see it grilled, baked or pan seared. So why poach it? Here are a few pros and cons to this classic method for cooking fish:

  • It’s a quick and clean method. It’s simple and straightforward, and difficult to mess up.
  • It avoids the classic “fishy” smell in your kitchen of cooking salmon, though it does have a distinct smell of its own.
  • It comes out beautifully tender. Like melt in your mouth tender.
  • However, the texture is very moist and doesn’t have a crisp exterior. If you like a crispy finish on your salmon, try grilled or pan seared.
  • The color is very light pink, which doesn’t look as impressive as other salmon cooking methods. Make sure to add garnishes and sauces for serving.
  • It can taste bland if not properly seasoned, so make sure to add enough salt and pepper. Consider serving with a sauce (see below).
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How to poach salmon

To poach means to cook by simmering in a small amount of liquid. Poached salmon is not fully submerged in liquid like a poached egg: the liquid is just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Here are the basic steps for how to poach salmon:

  1. Season the salmon: Pat the salmon dry and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the poaching liquid: Add the white wine or broth, water, lemon slices, dill sprigs, and capers to a large skillet. Place salmon pieces on top, skin side down.
  3. Simmer, cover and cook 7 to 10 minutes. Cook until the fish is tender and cooked through and the internal temperatures is between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit when probed in the center.
  4. Serve! Remove from the pan and place on a platter. Garnish with extra lemon and dill, or a sauce.
Poached Salmon

Ways to serve poached salmon

Poached salmon comes out tender with a very light pink color, and to be honest: it doesn’t look so lovely on its own. You’ll want to add some nice bright garnishes or salmon sauces to take the presentation to the next level! We used additional lemon slices, capers and dill sprigs to make the plating pop. Here are a few ideas for serving poached salmon:

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this poached salmon in the comments below.

More salmon recipes

There are endless ways to serve salmon: and honestly, this fish is easy to mess up if you don’t cook it correctly. Here are a few of our top easy salmon recipes we hope you’ll love:

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Description

Poached salmon one of the fastest, easiest ways to cook this fish! This recipe comes out elegant and perfectly tender.


  • 1 1/2 pounds or 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, wild caught if possible
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine or broth
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 lemon, sliced, plus more for serving
  • 1 handful dill sprigs, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons capers, plus more for serving
  • Optional: serve with Lemon Dill Sauce,  Caper Sauce, or Lemon Butter Sauce


  1. Pat the salmon dry and season generously with the salt and several grinds of black pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, place the white wine or broth, water, lemon slices, dill sprigs, and capers. Place salmon pieces on top, skin side down.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook 7 minutes for thin salmon and 10 minutes for thick salmon, until the fish is tender and cooked through and the internal temperatures is between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit when probed in the center.
  4. Remove from the pan and place on a platter. If desired, serve with additional capers, fresh lemon slices and dill sprigs.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free