Traditional recipes

Easy poached salmon recipe

Easy poached salmon recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Oily fish
  • Salmon

Poached salmon doesn't need to be complicated. This quick and easy recipe calls for 2 additional ingredients: stock and fresh herbs.

55 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 fillets salmon
  • 1 (500g) tub fresh chicken stock
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, tied

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Place the salmon fillets in a large pot, and pour in the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low; add bunch of dill. Cover and allow the salmon to poach for 15 minutes, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(53)

Reviews in English (39)

by Chef_Arikarr

Tastes great and couldn't be simpler to make. A classic.-13 Jun 2010


simple, easy and delicious. I squirted a little lemon juice in the chicken stock, and added a bit of pepper to the filets. turned out great!-27 Oct 2004

by twampz

this recipe only calls for 4 oz of salmon??? thats crazy! a quater pound? i bought 2 pounds of fresh salmon, and a huge amount of fresh dill. salmon came out moist and flaked with a fork nicely, but it had no real flavor. i couldnt taste the dill, and i thought it was just average. i didnt modify a thing, i wish i would of. my expectations of recipes with as many stars as this one are way higher.-13 Nov 2007

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/4 pounds skin-on salmon fillet, preferably wild Alaskan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cut into 3-inch pieces, and well washed
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, plus wedges for serving
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

Generously season fish with salt and pepper. Transfer to a straight-sided skillet, saucepan, or shallow pot slightly larger than fish, skin-side down. Scatter leek, celery, bay leaf, lemon rounds, and peppercorns around fish. Add wine and enough water to submerge fish by 1 inch. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to skillet.

Heat over medium until liquid reaches 150 degrees. Reduce heat to low to maintain temperature (remove skillet from heat briefly if it climbs above 150 degrees). Cook until fish turns opaque and is just cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. With a fish spatula, transfer to a plate, skin-side up. Let cool slightly remove skin. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled, with lemon wedges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to cook salmon and at what temperature?

The cook time for salmon depends on the type of salmon and thickness of salmon you are cooking. Use our tips for how to tell when salmon is done as your main guide. In general, salmon will take 12 to 30 minutes to bake in a 325° F oven. I like checking doneness around 10 minutes and then go from there.

How do I tell when salmon is done cooking?

Salmon is don cooking when the flesh looks somewhat opaque and when inserting a knife into the salmon, it slides through easily. An internal thermometer is also helpful. See our tips above for what temperatures you should look for.

What are some more ways to cook salmon?

While we love the ease of baking salmon in the oven as demonstrated by this recipe as well as our sour cream bakes salmon and baked salmon with green beans, you can also cook salmon on the stovetop, on an outdoor grill, and poached in gently simmering water. See our pan-seared salmon burgers and our grilled cedar plank salmon recipe for more ideas.

What should I serve with salmon?

Salmon works nicely when served with a variety of side dishes. Here are some of our favorites:

More Easy Salmon Recipes

  • For a different spin, try our Garlic Caper Butter Baked Salmon Recipe. We use the same method as this lemon herb salmon, but replace the stock with butter!
  • For a different spin, try our Easy Sour Cream Baked Salmon. We slather a mixture of mustard, sour cream, and parmesan on top of salmon fillets and bake until done.
  • Our Grilled Salmon is easy and is served on a bed of couscous and topped with grilled nectarines and crumbled goat cheese. Great for summer!
  • Another favorite way to cook salmon is by grilling on a cedar plank. Try our Sweet Citrus Rubbed Cedar Plank Salmon.
  • Adam loves these Pan-Seared Salmon Burgers. Thanks to a little agave, they brown nicely in the pan and taste amazing.

Recipe updated, originally posted August 2009. Since posting this in 2009, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Poached Salmon Recipe

This easy poached salmon recipe is one of the simplest and tastiest ways to enjoy this flavorful fish. By poaching your fish, you'll enjoy the added benefits of not stinking up your house and having a healthy, low fat meal . . . errr, well that is before you pour on the fabulous cream dill sauce that goes along with it.

My grocery store sells what they call a " tranche de saumon ", which is a completely boneless and skinless piece of salmon that works great for this recipe. You can use also poach tranversely cut steaks (what are called darnes de saumon in France) for this recipe or a salmon filet with the skin still on.

If you are working with a filet, look it over carefully for stray bones and use a pair of tweezers (yes!) to remove them. Then place the filet skin side down in the cooking liquid, and ensure that it is nearly submerged. You can then cook the filet without having to turn it.

The only tricky part about this poached salmon recipe is getting the cooking time right. You'll want to stop cooking your salmon just as soon as it is done. You can take a discrete peek in the thickest part of the cooking fish to verify it's doneness. No need to overcook!

Here are some general guidelines for cooking time based on the thickness of the salmon:

  • 1/4 to 1/3-inch - 3 to 4 minutes
  • 1/2 to 3/4-inch - 4 to 6 minutes
  • 1 to 1 1/2-inch - 8 to 12 minutes

If you are an ascetic, you will enjoy your salmon without any sauce. It's actually such a flavorful, moist fish that you may feel no twinge of denial at all. For the rest of us, I highly recommend this quick dill sauce recipe as an accompaniment. If you are looking for another easy French fish recipe, this baked fish recipe is next to no fuss.

Aromatics for the poaching liquid

Here are some ideas for what to put in your poaching liquid to add rich flavors.

NOTE: Even though I use a court bouillon which is already packed with aromatics, I like to add some herbs in my poaching liquid with the salmon because I’ve usually got leftover fresh herbs that I’m eager to use up.

Herbs: Dill, thyme, basil, parsley, sage, lemongrass, cilantro, bay leaves

Spices: Coriander seed, star anise, peppercorns, fennel seeds

Citrus: lemon peel, orange peel, lime peels, a slice of lemon or lime, kaffir lime leaf

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 250ml/9fl oz skimmed milk
  • 25g/1oz polyunsaturated margarine (suitable for cooking)
  • 25g/1oz plain flour
  • ½ lemon, juice only (optional)

Place the salmon fillets in a microwave-safe dish and pour over the milk.

Cover the dish with cling film, ensuring it does not touch the food and leave a small area open.

Cook in the microwave on a full power for three minutes, then remove and check the fish. Turn the fish so that the cooked parts are in the centre of the dish. Cook on full power for another one minute until pale pink and cooked. Leave to stand.

Put the margarine into the microwave-safe jug and place in the microwave. Cook on full power for 30 seconds.

Remove the jug from the microwave, tip in the flour and whisk until it is blended thoroughly.

Carefully pull back the cling film from the microwave-safe dish and remove two tablespoons of the milk. Add it to the flour and margarine and whisk to form a smooth paste with no lumps.

Continue to add the milk, a few spoonfuls at a time, and whisk until all the milk has been added. Keep covering the salmon with the cling film to keep it warm.

Place the jug into the microwave and cook on full power for 3-4 minutes, removing the jug to whisk thoroughly at one minute intervals. This will ensure there are no lumps.

After 3–4 minutes, the sauce should boil, but be careful it does not spill over the sides of the jug.

Once boiled, carefully remove the jug from the microwave and whisk thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and a grind of black pepper (if using) – and whisk.

Either pour the sauce over the fish or, using a fish slice, remove the fish to individual plates and spoon over the sauce.


Using aluminum foil, create a large tray directly on a baking sheet.

Place salmon fillet in the center of the aluminum foil, season first with garlic salt, sprinkle with brown sugar, then cover with small pieces of butter. Top with sliced onions.

Pour beer of choice into the bottom of the foil tray to just below the highest point of the fillet. Cover it with more aluminum foil to envelope fish completely.

Place the salmon into the oven for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until just cooked through. Enjoy!

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Poached Salmon with No-Fail Hollandaise

Andrew Zimmern&rsquos Kitchen AdventuresEveryone needs an easy, simple and elegant meal that provides great leftovers (think salmon salad, salmon cakes, salmon aspic). No one poaches fish anymore, but it&rsquos the ultimate feed-a-crowd meal. Hot in cold months, cold in warm ones&mdashI adore poached salmon. I was working in France many decades ago and was obsessed with making sauces &ldquothe right way.&rdquo When I was a stagier at Alain Senderens&rsquos L&rsquoArchestrate restaurant in Paris, a line cook made this awesome liaison between egg and butter by whipping the yolks over heat and then adding cool butter. I had never seen it before. It&rsquos easy, it holds well and it&rsquos a no-fail way to make a low-rent version of hollandaise sauce. And yes, even though I add minced tarragon to this dish, I still call it hollandaise.&mdashAndrew Zimmern Salmon Recipes Affordable Recipes for a Crowd

How to Poach Salmon in Two Easy Steps

Prepping Your Salmon

Prepare the salmon fillet by patting it with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to remove any excess moisture before you begin cooking it.

Set Up Your Liquid

In a saucepan, prepare whatever liquid you are going to use to poach the salmon. This can be something as simple as water, if you want to maintain the flavors of the fish in the purest way. Otherwise, if you want a little more flavor, try using some dry white wine or lemon juice If you want to, you can add some fresh herbs. Some of our favorites include sprigs of fresh dill, celery leaves, onion, or fennel. You can also add shallots, garlic cloves, bay leaves, black pepper or capers. The beauty of poaching lies in infusing your fish with these rich, herby aromas.

Bring the liquid mixture to a simmer and then place the filet directly into the pan so that the mixture nearly covers the entire filet. This method is called shallow poaching.

Keep the heat low, and don&rsquot feel the need to bring the mixture to a boil. If the water is too hot, it will cause the fish&rsquos proteins to tighten and become tough. Even without bringing the mixture to high heat, the fish will still cook quickly. Generally, your cooking time might be just. Generally, your cooking time might be just 10 minutes for a filet that is an inch thick. If you want to be certain, you can use a digital thermometer to ensure that the fish is done. Aim to shoot for an internal temperature of 145 °F.

Here Are Some Poached Wild Salmon Recipes We Love

This recipe combines morels and peas in buttery, creamy perfection.

This citrus-poached recipe is simple but nonetheless full of flavor.

Poaching salmon is just one way to enjoy the versatility of wild-caught seafood. Explore our recipes to discover new ways to steam, roast, and fry salmon for almost any meal!