Poached Salmon

Poaching salmon in white wine with onions, garlic and fresh herbs makes the fish so juicy, tender and full of flavor. It’s easy, delicious and healthy too.

This is a recipe I often use as a fuss-free, super quick option for cooking salmon. It’s a great method because it infuses the fish with so much flavor and cooks it really gently so it stays delicate and juicy.

I love the texture of the fish. It’s so delicate and juicy and is incredibly flavorful too. Placing the fish on a bed of aromatic vegetables – slices of onion, garlic and parsley stems brings up the flavor of the fish a ton. It also lifts up the salmon above the white wine, which also makes the salmon taste even better, so essentially the salmon is poaching and steaming at the same time. Why use a steaming rack if you can create one out of vegetables that will make the fish incredibly delicious too?

Ingredients:

  • salmon – use about 6 oz of salmon per fillet. This is a great method to use when cooking for one because you can easily make just one portion. However, you can also use this exact method, with the same amount of ingredients and cook as many salmon fillets as will fit into your pan.
  • onions – slice the onions into 1/4 – 1/2 inch circles.
  • garlic – smash the garlic gently with the side of your knife which will release more of the garlic flavor into the cooking liquid.
  • white wine – a dry white wine is best for this recipe. One of my favorites to use for cooking is Sauvignon Blanc.
  • parsley stems – save some of the parsley to chop up and use to garnish the cooked salmon and the rest of it save to use in other recipes. The stems add flavor to the cooking liquid as well. If you have other herbs, such as dill stems, you can use those in the recipe too.
  • lemon – Instead of white wine, you can use some lemon juice mixed with water, if you prefer. I like to serve the fish with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • bay leaf – this will also flavor the cooking liquid

How to Poach Salmon

How to poach salmon fillets in white wine, onions, garlic and parsley
  1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a large skillet, place a layer of sliced onions all over the bottom, then add the garlic, bay leaves and parsley stems. Pour in the white wine and water. It should barely cover the vegetables. Save the parsley leaves for other uses, and chop a little bit to garnish the cooked salmon later. To see the best way to store fresh herbs, click here.

Basically, you are sort of creating a steamer for the fish. The onion and parsley stems will elevate the fish above the liquid and at the same time give so much aromatic flavor to the cooking liquid. The fish will cook much more gently from the steam than if it was submerged in the liquid.

3. Place the fish on top of the onion slices and parsley stems. The liquid should barely be touching the fish.

4. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook the fish, covered, at a low simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the fish. The internal temperature of the fish should be 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer.

How To Serve Poached Fish

Serve the fish with lemon and fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley and/or dill.

My favorite way to serve this dish is with rice pilaf or couscous and a light salad. I think some Sautéed Zucchini with Carrots pairs really well with this meal too.

Your self esteem will shoot through the roof when you have this for dinner. You’ll be so proud of yourself for eating such a healthy meal. Flavor doesn’t have to be sacrificed when eating healthy. Let this recipe prove it to you. 

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Poached Salmon

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Entree

Description

Poaching salmon in white wine with onions, garlic and fresh herbs makes the fish so juicy, tender and full of flavor. It’s easy, delicious and healthy too.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1216 oz salmon, 6-8 oz fillets each, skin removed
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • parsley stems
  • 12 dry bay leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced into 1/2 inch circles
  • 24 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • lemon, to serve with the salmon
  • chopped fresh herbs, to serve with the salmon, optional

Instructions

  1. Season the salmon with salt and ground black pepper on both sides.
  2. Place a layer of onions on the bottom of a skillet. Top with the parsley stems. Add the garlic cloves, bay leaves, the white wine and water.
  3. Place the fish on top of the onions and parsley. The liquid should barely be touching the fish.
  4. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. After the liquid comes to a boil, cook the fish covered, at a low simmer, for 5-8 minutes, until the fish reaches a temperature of 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer. 
  6. Serve the fish with lemon juice and garnished with fresh herbs, such as dill and/or parsley. 

Notes

You can cook more than 2 fillets, as many as will fit in your skillet, using the same amount of ingredients and the same timing. 

Keywords: salmon, healthy salmon recipe, poached salmon, steamed salmon, salmon with white wine onions garlic and parsley

6 Comments

  • Oksana K

    Wow this type of preparing salmon is by far the best i’ve seen. I love salmon in many different ways of cooking it, and already know this one will taste awesome, and its healthy – which i’m trying to aim for. Thanks for sharing, will do this trick as soon as i get ahold of some salmon! 😉
    thanks a lot, girl! 😀

    • olgak7

      Good for you, Oksana!
      I try to eat healthy as much as I can, too. It’s so important for me that my healthy meal would still taste phenomenal and that’s what I really appreciate about this dish.

  • Tallya

    This sounds like such a simple and delicious poached/steamed fish recipe, I will be trying it soon. I definitely don’t cook fish often enough, I have somewhat a fear of fish bones… I keep imagining a bone stuck in mine or the children’s throats :/ not quite sure where this fear comes from

    • olgak7

      We eat seafood A LOT! Haven’t ever had fish bones stuck in my throat:). Salmon bones are on the bigger side, so you should be able to feel them by running your finger over your fish before you cook it and pull them out.

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