Poached Salmon

  • Serves

    serves 6


During a visit to the Gustavus Inn in Glacier Bay, Alaska, about 50 miles west of Juneau, David Lesh showed us how to poach not only salmon, but also dolly varden (a subtly flavored, pink-fleshed char) and trout. Serve with our briny Egg-Caper Sauce or Dill Mousseline Sauce for an elegant, flavorful meal.


  • 1 carrot, peeled, trimmed, and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 (3-lb.) piece center-cut salmon
  • Salt
  • 5 sprigs fresh dill
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 cups dry white wine


Step 1

Put carrots, celery, onions, lemon slices, bay leaves, and peppercorns into a fish poacher or a large, deep roasting pan. Rub salmon with salt, then lay on top of vegetables. Add dill, parsley, wine, and just enough water to cover fish.

Step 2

Put poacher over two burners and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until salmon is just opaque, about 35 minutes, then remove from heat. Let salmon rest in poaching liquid for 5 minutes, then transfer to a work surface. Peel skin from one side of fish and scrape off dark flesh with a knife.

Step 3

Carefully lift off top filet of salmon, transfer to a platter, then remove salmon backbone and any other visible bones. Turn fish over and peel skin and scrape off dark flesh as in Step 2, then transfer remaining filet to platter. Serve warm.

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