wild caught salmon poached in cream sauce
wild caught salmon poached in cream sauce

Easy Poached Salmon: How to Poach Wild Salmon Fillets

September 18th, 2018

Tips on Using Poaching Liquid as the Key to Cook Your Fish

Poaching is a method of cooking fish in which you submerge your fillets into a hot liquid such as water, wine, broth or milk, for example. It’s one of the healthiest ways to cook wild salmon because the fish is not cooked in a fat such as extra-virgin olive oil or butter, either of which are commonly used when pan-frying or baking.

Because poaching generally happens at a very low heat, it lends itself to a gradual and gentle way of cooking. Like steaming, poaching keeps the fish moist and enhances its natural flavor.

Read on for our easy, step-by-step guide on poaching salmon.

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’t feel the need to bring the mixture to a boil. If the water is too hot, it will cause the fish’s 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 for poached wild salmon is topped with a creamy, buttery sauce of morels and peas.

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

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