Poaching is one of easiest methods to prepare and cook proteins like chicken and fish. It’s often overlooked, forgotten about or comes with an unsatisfying childhood food memory. I remember trying to chew through a dry, bland piece of poached chicken while smiling at my mother. “Yes mom, it really tastes good.” Not.
There’s no reason for anyone to relive a bad food moment. You need more that water (I wish someone had told my mother that) to make poached food taste good. The keys to successful poaching are the added ingredients and not overcooking. This is filled with onion, celery, carrots, Italian parsley, bay leaves, salt and whole black peppercorns. The addition white wine (only use something you would drink – I used a Sauvignon Blanc) rounds out the flavors.
I served it with a Cucumber Raita sauce, dicing the cucumbers to add a little crunch with each bite. Poaching is an easy cooking technique that doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s a great way to prepare chicken and fish as we head into the warmer months.
POACHED SALMON FILLETS WITH CUCUMBER RAITA SAUCE
Yield 4 servings
- 4 skinless salmon fillets
- 3 cups white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
- 4 cups water + more to cover fish
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped in 1” pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 4 parsley sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 english cucumber, thinly sliced
- Dill sprigs for garnish
CUCUMBER RAITA SAUCE
- 1 cucumber, peeled seeded and diced
- 2 cups yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons mint, minced
- 1 tablespoons dill, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
In a fish poacher or large stainless pan, add wine, water, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, bay leaves and black peppercorns.
Lightly salt salmon fillets then add to them to pan. Bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for 3 - 4 minutes.
Remove salmon fillets from pan and transfer to individual plates.
To make Cucumber Raita Sauce, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, mint, dill, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add diced cucumber and mix well. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator.
Place three sliced cucumbers on each plate. Top each with a dollop of raita sauce and a small sprig of dill. Place a lemon slice on each salmon fillet and serve.