Poaching is a great way to bring out the delicate flavor of whole fish. A poacher will use less liquid than a pan, but either works. This whole poached salmon is fantastic hot or cold. Serve with a little lemon or your favorite sauce.


Recipe Summary

25 mins
35 mins
10 mins
2 servings


Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine wine, onion, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a fish poacher. Place poacher over 2 burners on the stove.

  • Rinse fish under cold water, stuff the cavity with dill and lemon slices, and place on the rack in the pot. Cover and bring slowly to a strong simmer (don't boil at any point). Cook until fish easily flakes with a fork, being sure not to overcook, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Drain and serve.

Cook's Notes:

Try snapper, striped bass, halibut, trout, or any firm white fish instead of salmon, if you'd like. Dark fish like bluefish or mackerel are not recommended for poaching.

Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fish. A general rule of thumb is 10 minutes of cooking per 1 inch thickness of fish, so a large whole fish should take between 15 and 30 minutes.

Fish can be gutted through the gills, or open stomach, or with head and tail removed. Filets also work well.

The liquid can be cooked in advanced and then cooled. It can be sieved and saved for another use for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. If you don't have a poacher with a rack, wrapping the fish in cheesecloth will help.

If being served cold, remove poacher from heat a bit earlier and allow fish to cool in liquid to prevent skin from cracking.

Nutrition Facts

421 calories; protein 13g; carbohydrates 24.6g; fat 2.5g; cholesterol 24.5mg; sodium 84.4mg. Full Nutrition