Skip to main content

Simple Poached Salmon

poached salmon

Delicate and elegant, this Simple Poached Salmon technique yields juicy salmon that can be served warm or at room temperature.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 4 (5-oz) salmon fillets, skinless


1. In a large, deep, straight-sided skillet or heavy pot combine lemon, salt and peppercorns. Fill with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil.

2. Add the salmon and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until salmon is opaque.

3. With a slotted spatula remove salmon and lemon slices to a paper towel-lined plate.

4.Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon slices.

Doneness Test: According to Julia Child, “Fish is done when the flesh has turned from translucent to opaque and, rather than feeling squashy to the touch like raw fish, it feels lightly springy. It should still be juicy. Fish that is resistant and flaky is overdone – too bad!”

Mix It Up: Experiment with different poaching liquids like white wine, vegetable broth, citrus juice or Julia Child’s famous
wine vinegar + water (use 3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar per quart of water).

Dress It Up: Wrap each fillet in a long cucumber ribbon and serve with Simple Scallion Wasabi Sauce (see below). Surround with lots of fresh dill on a family-style platter, or pre-plate and garnish simply with a single sprig.

Simple Scallion Wasabi Sauce: Place 1 cup light mayo, 1 bunch scallions (green part only), 1 tablespoon Gold’s Wasabi Sauce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.