How to Poach Salmon

How to Poach Salmon

Salmon can be cooked using many techniques, but poaching is definitely one of the healthiest. Not only is it conveniently quick, poaching can be done easily on your stove top. Because salmon is such a nutritious fish, it is important to retain as much of its nutrients as possible. By learning how to poach salmon, you can preserve its nutritional value and boosts its flavor at the same time.

Poached Salmon with Asparagus

How to Buy Salmon

Food safety experts encourage cooks to choose wild salmon over the farmed varieties. Farmed salmon is believed to be fed a variety of chemicals and hormones to make mass production possible. Although inexpensive, they contain substances that might not be healthy for human consumption. Wild salmon, on the other hand, grows freely in its natural environment without being fed enhancers.

When it comes to buying the best salmon fillets, it is best to request the cut closest to the head. This is because fillets get smaller towards the tail and are wider at the head. Chinook and Coho salmon are considered to be the best picks because they are caught wild. Atlantic salmon is more widely available but tends to be farmed.

How to Poach Salmon at Home

If executed properly, poached salmon has a strong, delicious flavor as well as great texture. To learn how to poach salmon, you will need:

  • 6 ½ ounce fresh salmon fillet
  • 2-3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Splash of lemon/lime juice (optional)

Step 1:

To prep your salmon, thaw it in the fridge and remove skin. You can also choose to leave the skin off if you prefer.

Step 2:

Fill almost half a pan with bay leaf and water or stock. Heat the water or stock until it comes to a gentle simmer, just below boiling point.

Step 3:

Add the salmon fillet and ensure that it is fully submerged in the water or stock. Poach for 8-10 minutes depending on your desired texture. Remove from water and serve.

How to Poach Salmon in the Oven

To poach salmon in the oven, you can use the same ingredients as above.

Step 1:

Choose an oven-proof baking dish that can hold salmon fillets comfortably. Brush the bottom of the dish with olive oil or softened butter.

Step 2:

Season the fillets with a little sea salt and black pepper. Place salmon inside the baking dish and pour stock or water evenly over them.

Step 3:

Bake the salmon fillets at 400 F until they are the color and texture you prefer. Remove from the oven and serve.

How to Poach Salmon Cooking Tips

When shopping for salmon to poach, fillets are the best option. The broth or water used to poach salmon fillets should be cold before you heat it up. If you would like to add a splash of lemon or lime juice, add it if using water. Water can also be lightly seasoned with parsley, thyme, ginger or soy sauce. If you prefer using broth, you can add carrot slices, onions and even a dash of white wine for enhanced flavor. Poached salmon is served best with vegetable sides.


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