Poaching is a gentle cooking method that works well with fish. Poached salmon is wonderfully moist and delicate, and this easy recipe takes just 20 minutes to make.
You can poach the salmon in white wine and serve it warm with hollandaise sauce or cold with tartar sauce.
Poaching is a gentle cooking method that yields tender, flaky fish. It retains moisture and allows the flavor of the fish to shine through.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Dry white wine: You can also use fish stock or even water; I do enjoy the flavor the wine adds. And then we also drink it with our meal!
- Dill: I place it in the bottom of the pan, then place the fish fillets on top.
- Salmon fillets: I made this recipe with wild-caught salmon and responsibly farmed Atlantic salmon. Both worked equally well.
- To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
The best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different poaching liquids and see which of them you like best.
Good candidates include dry white wine, fish stock, milk, or simply water. After many experiments, my preferred liquid is white wine. I like the flavor it adds. But you should experiment and see what you like best.
Poached Salmon Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Pour the wine into a large, lidded skillet. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Place the dill in the skillet, reserving a few sprigs for garnish.
Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on top of the dill. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Cover the pan tightly and poach the salmon until cooked through, for 5-10 minutes.
- To ensure the salmon poaches rather than boils, maintain a gentle simmer rather than a rolling boil. If needed, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- I prefer garlic powder to minced garlic in this recipe because it coats the salmon more evenly.
I use white wine in this recipe. Sauvignon blanc works well, as does pinot grigio. Both of these wines can also be served with this dish.
If you prefer not to use wine as your poaching liquid, you can use water, fish stock, or milk.
I love all methods. When poached, it's mild and moist. But other cooking techniques crisp up the skin and bring out the fish's unique flavor.
These include pan-frying, grilling, broiling, and oven-baking. If I had to choose one method, I would go with pan-frying salmon in butter.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. I like to flake them and add them, cold, to a salad the next day for lunch.
I often make a quick salad of shredded lettuce and cherry tomatoes, add the poached salmon leftovers (flaked or cut into small pieces), and drizzle the salad with ranch dressing, as shown in the photo:
Another option is to mash the leftovers with additional ingredients, such as mayonnaise, and turn them into a salmon salad.
You can also reheat the leftovers, but you should do so very gently, in the microwave, covered, at 50% power. If you reheat them too aggressively, they will be dry.
More Salmon Recipes
Perfectly Poached Salmon
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch dill weed
- 2 (6 ounces) wild salmon fillets skin-on, pin bones removed
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of any other salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pour the wine into a 12-inch lidded skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Place the dill weed in the skillet, reserving a few sprigs for garnish. Place the salmon fillets on top of the dill, skin side down. Sprinkle the salmon with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Cover the pan tightly with the lid (or with a double layer of foil).
- Poach the salmon until it's no longer raw in the thickest part, for 5-10 minutes, depending on its thickness. It should reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
- The liquid should cover the bottom of the pan - add water if needed. You can use fish stock instead of wine or simply use water.
- Make sure to maintain a gentle simmer rather than a rolling boil. If needed, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. I like to flake them and add them, cold, to a salad the next day for lunch.
- You can also reheat the leftovers gently in the microwave, covered, at 50% power. If you reheat them too aggressively, they will be dry.
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
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