How To Poach The Perfect Salmon
By Teresa Cutter
What's great about it
Poaching is one of the easiest and best ways to cook salmon. I love it because it's such a clean and unadulterated way of cooking and eating. The integrity of the fish is not lost if poached correctly and you end up with the most delicious piece of tender fish that tastes great simply seasoned with a little lemon and a little cold pressed olive oil dressing.
STEP 1 - Prepare your Salmon Fillet
I like them pin boned and you can choose to leave the skin on or off.
180 g (6 1/2 oz) is a good size per portion - if you're hungry grab 2 portions.
STEP 2 - Choose your poaching liquid
I love it simple and clean so water or a court-bouillon (2 carrot, 1 onion, 1 bay leaf, splash of white wine + a few peppercorns + water) is my first choice if you're not eating the broth afterward.
You can also use a good home-made vegetable or chicken stock.
STEP 3 - Choose your aromatics
If using water I love some citrus flavours such as lemon and lime. Add some thyme, fennel or parsley and that's pretty much it.
If using stocks you can add more robust flavours. Give it an Asian touch by using aromatics like lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime.
Another great combo is star anis, tamari soy sauce and a splash of mirin.
STEP 4 - Heat the poaching liquid and aromatics for 5 minutes only if poaching fillets.
So that the flavours infuse a little and penetrate into the liquid.
If using whole fish or a whole side of salmon, the water needs to be cold to start - but that's another post.
STEP 5 - Add your salmon
The secret to a great poached anything is to keep the temperature just below boiling. Best temp is 95 C. just below boiling.
Make sure the salmon is immersed in the stock.
STEP 6 - Cook the salmon
For stove top - poach the salmon for 8 - 10 minutes depending on how you like it.
For oven poaching - preheat your oven 200 C. Poach for 15 minutes approx.
STEP 7 - Remove your salmon and serve.
I like it served very clean with a side of steamed greens such as asparagus or broccolini then topped with a little lemon + EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) dressing.
It's also delicious, flaked and stirred through freshly cooked quinoa, baby spinach, peas and a little pesto.
You can cook up extra and serve cold the next day for lunch with leafy greens, hard boiled organic egg and French dressing.
Notes and Inspiration
This method of poaching fish is great with other cuts of fresh fish fillets such as ocean trout, Blue eye cod, snapper, ling, trout etc..