Perfect Poached Salmon

We’ve done a little research on this one. Poaching fish should be easy, but it’s not when the bottom of the fish cooks more quickly than the thicker portion. We just end up with over-cooked fish that way, and it’s tough and rubbery. We learned two tricks from our research: (1) Lay a layer of thick cut lemons on the bottom of the pan. Pour in filtered water, so that the top of each slice of lemon is level with the water. Then add 1/4C dry white wine. We chose Sauvignon Blanc. Then rest the fish on top of the lemons. The lemons elevate the fish off of the bottom of the pan, so they poach evenly. (2) The alcohol in the wine raises the boiling point of the water, so the liquid is at a higher temp, which helps to poach the fish more efficiently.

Turn on the heat to high. As soon as the water/wine begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and cover the pan. Set timer to 8 minutes.

We made a sauce from a carton of non-fat plain yogurt, fresh dill, 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 2 mini seedless cucumbers. In another skillet we steamed some asparagus, and diner was ready! We added some fresh lemon zest on the plates for brightness.

This is the first time poached salmon came out PERFECTLY for us. We’ll never do it any other way!!!

Perfect Poached Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 285kcal
This foolproof, easy way of cooking salmon is one of our favorite weeknight meals!
Print Recipe


  • 24 oz salmon fillet
  • 4 medium lemons
  • ¼ cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine
  • 1 cup water


  • Remove skin from salmon with a flexible fillet knife.
  • Slice lemons approximately ½" thick. Place them in one layer on the bottom of a large skillet.
  • Pour the wine into the skillet, and then slowly add the water, until the liquid in the pan reaches just to the top of the lemons, but not over them. You may need less or more water, depending on the size of the skillet.
  • Rest the salmon fillets on top of the lemons. Turn the heat to high.
  • As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer for 8 minutes.
  • If the salmon flakes easily with a fork, it's done. If not, place lid back on skillet and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Cooking time will vary, depending on the thickness of the fish fillet.


Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 993mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg

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