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Easy Salmon Recipe How To Poach Salmon Fillets

Updated on August 16, 2012


Poaching salmon fillets rather than baking or grilling is one of the best ways to cook salmon because it retains the delicate nature of this super-good-for-you fish and keeps it tender and moist at the same time.

For recipes that call for flaked salmon or recipes that you want to tweak by adding fresh salmon, this is an excellent way to cook the salmon and then use in different recipes.

Flaked, poached salmon can be used in place of canned salmon in any recipe. About 1-3/4 cup to a shy 2 cups will equal one 14-3/4 ounce can of canned salmon and be much fresher for the effort.

Add flaked, poached salmon to salads, to eggs, omelets, frittatas, or even use as tuna and make a sandwich spread of it. Sometimes instead of making a salmon spread per se, I will combine a bit with cream cheese and spread on dense or toasted breads, then add other accouterments such as lettuce, cucumber slices, etc. There are all kinds of ways to use salmon and the healthy properties of salmon simply cannot be stated enough. It is also a good firm, flavorful fish that stands up well to many dishes.

Photo Credit:  WikiCommons BrokenSphere

Recipe For Poaching Salmon

  • Remember to use a meat thermometer - I use one with a probe as it makes it easy to slide the probe under the lid of a pan or into the meat, in the oven, etc. When it registers 160 degrees, the salmon is done. Let rest and flake or use in recipes as needed.


  • Salmon fillets with skin intact - 1 to 1-1/2 pounds
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Riesling are all good choices)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 shallot or few slices of white onion peeled and cut into thin slices (for flavor)
  • Dried dill weed or several sprigs of fresh dill if available - few dashes
  • Dried parsley or fresh parsley sprig if available - few dashes
  • Pepper to taste (optional)


  1. Heat wine and water, parsley, dill, shallot or onion in a skillet or sauté pan.
  2. Over medium heat, let the mixture come to a simmer - do not boil rapidly.
  3. Add the salmon fillets with the skin side down to the pan.
  4. Insert thermometer if desired.
  5. Cover with a lid or with aluminum foil to act as a lid.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes and check to see if done.
  7. If desired, sprinkle with ground black pepper to taste.
  8. For flaking, set aside and let cool, then flake with a fork, removing all bones and skin.



  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Butter a shallow dish or pan.
  • Place the salmon fillets side by side skin side down in the dish and cover with the above ingredients.
  • Add fennel or celery for flavor if desired.
  • Insert thermometer in thickest part of salmon.
  • Cover with buttered foil or buttered parchment paper.
  • Cook until the salmon becomes opaque rather than bright but using a thermometer will get it right every time - 160 degrees.


  • Use the same technique as above but use plastic wrap instead to cover the baking dish.
  • Prick the surface, however, to allow steam to escape.
  • Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes but again, check temperature with a thermometer as every fillet is different in thickness.
  • Take fillets out midway through the cooking though and turn around in the dish so that the inside part of the fish is now on the outside of the dish and the outside portion of the fish is on the inside of the dish.

Recipe For Poaching Court Bouillon

Still another great way to poach salmon fillets or steaks is in Court Bouillon - just allow extra time to make the poaching solution (about 30 minutes) and allow to cool before using in the recipe.


  • 1-1/4 cups dry white wine or dry cider
  • 5 cups of water
  • About 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1 chopped white onion or shallots
  • 2 coarsely chopped carrots
  • 2 sticks chopped celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
  • 12 black peppercorns


  • Place all the ingredients into a large pot.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 30 or 40 minutes.
  • Cool before using.


Last But Not Least

  • If you use the court bouillon to poach your salmon, when done poaching, you can save the liquid for another dish such as fish soup or a fish chowder. 
  • If you do not plan to use it soon, you can always freeze it and thaw for use later.
  • Freeze in small containers or in ice cube trays, take out and place in labeled freezer bags for another use.
  • The court bouillon makes a delicious base for soups and chowders, salmon or otherwise.



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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks JT - glad you liked~

    • jamterrell profile image

      jamterrell 6 years ago

      Wow. I love it too. BTW akirchner, Thanks for the recipe.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      I love salmon Kpam and hopefully you'll enjoy this recipe!

    • Kpam profile image

      Kpam 6 years ago

      Great recipe. I love salmon, and will try this recipe out.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Definitely JenniferWilliam - Salmon is good to eat - thanks so much for stopping by.

    • profile image

      JenniferWilliam 6 years ago

      Salmon is good to eat. My mom use to cook it. I will try the

      luscious recipe

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Holle - do you even not like smoked salmon? I made a pasta salad recently and it called for canned salmon but BOB informed me that it would have been better with SMOKED salmon - that 'galloping' gourmet must know! We love planked salmon on the BBQ, too - and I just found a great cucumber sauce that is super low-cal and low-fat. Can you substitute trout for the salmon - does that have the same kinda sorta flavor?

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'm passing this on to the 2 daughters who love salmon. The oldest and I hate it, as I already mentioned above. lol

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Sure! Sometimes I think people don't like it though because it is overcooked but you probably know better than me on that score! I would substitute any kind of fish but if the fish is milder in flavor, you might have to add more spices or wine - or vermouth....I just fool around with it until I get it to taste the way I want it. Thanks so much for commenting, Holle!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I have tried really hard to like salmon because of its health benefits, but I can't. I hate it! Can I substitute flounder or grouper??