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Under 30 Minutes

Simple Poached Salmon

A beautifully poached piece of salmon is clean tasting and light. There's only one rule: Don't overcook.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Serves 4
Simple Poached Salmon

Source: Everyday Food, 2009


  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each and about 1 inch thick)


  1. In a large, deep, straight-sided skillet or heavy pot, combine carrots, celery, onion, lemon, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 8 minutes.

  2. Season salmon with salt and gently lower into simmering liquid (liquid should just cover fish). Reduce to a very gentle simmer. Cover and cook until salmon is opaque throughout, about 5 minutes (longer for thicker fillets). Using a wide slotted spatula, remove salmon from liquid.

Reviews (8)

  • amigotwo 29 Jul, 2014

    I would love trying salmon like this, but I'm scared it will be "fishy." Any thoughts from anyone concerned?

  • hmmachin 25 Feb, 2014

    i bought salmon that had the skin still on and i left it on, peeling it carefully off after plating. it was so easy and delicious. i think i'll use the method a lot from now on, and maybe tweak it a bit, using asian flavours to make the poaching liquid (shallot, ginger, garlic, kaffir lime leaf) or a scandinavian touch with a big sprig of fesh dill, with the thick stalk, popped in when i add the fish.

  • celsian 14 Jul, 2013

    What a great recipe! The celery is an excellent addition that negates the need for the salt (for people looking for less sodium in their diet.) Add a little extra to the initial boiling process and serve as pictured. I seasoned with Saltless Lemon Pepper. Tastes great!

  • cetelman 16 Oct, 2012

    First time poaching salmon & it turned out great. I added a cup of white wine to the broth, used a large shallot instead of onion & added fresh ground pepper to fish & broth, a little garlic powder, onion powder & parsley to the broth.

  • lysa 25 Sep, 2010

    Delicious and so easy! I followed the directions exactly and the salmon wasn't tough. I just put the fire on the lowest it would go and took it out at exactly 5 minutes. It had a nice flavor as well.

  • aes74 15 Jun, 2010

    We had this the other night and it was really delicious. Even my kids ate quite a bit of it. The trick is to not over cook it. I set the timer and took the fish out exactly at five minutes.

  • daousti 13 May, 2010

    OK, the trick here is to put the salmon when you put the other ingrediants bring over to a boil. When the liquid starts boiling, take the skillet off the burner and let the salmon cook for 5 to 8 minutes. It comes out nice and soft!

  • kitchencartsromona 11 May, 2010

    I tried this recipe but the salmon came out "tough". I am thinking I need to cook it for a shorter time. It was delicous otherwise.


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