You don’t have to worry about drying out fish when it’s cooking in liquid! This preparation is so delicate and subtle—you can taste the aromatics that are in the cooking liquid, but it doesn’t take anything away from the flavor of the salmon. Remember that you’re poaching, not boiling: The liquid should be below the boiling point or the fish can get rubbery.

Robin Bashinsky
Also appeared in: Health, May, 2020


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
45 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Squeeze lemon halves into a high-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven, then add squeezed lemon halves to pan. Add 4 cups water, wine, peppercorns, bay leaves, shallots, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. (Adjust heat if needed to make sure liquid is barely steaming with a temperature of about 145°F.)

  • Add salmon to pan, cover, and cook until a thermometer inserted in fish registers 125°F to 130°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer salmon to a large plate lined with paper towels. Remove and discard any whole peppercorns or bay leaves clinging to fish. Sprinkle fish with ½ teaspoon of the salt. (To serve salmon cold, chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes.)

  • Stir together yogurt, tarragon, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. If desired, sprinkle fillets with chopped tarragon. Serve with sauce.

Nutrition Facts

281 calories; fat 12g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 100mg; protein 35g; carbohydrates 3g; sugars 2g; sodium 745mg; iron 1mg; calcium 79mg.