Whole Poached Salmon

The whole salon ready for poaching.

I once saw a television show where the hostess poached a whole salmon in a dish washer. While it seemed to work, I would recommend you cook your salmon in a poacher or oven tray. My recipe shows you how simple it is.

8-10 Portions
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30-40 minutes


Poached Salmon

  • 1x 2.5-3.5kg whole salmon, scaled and gutted
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 375ml white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1 handful of parsley

Dill Sauce

  • 500ml creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp seeded mustard
  • juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 5 tbsp dill, finely chopped

To Garnish

  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
  • 1 cherry tomato (small), halved
  • 3 lemons, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly


  1. Salmon: Using kitchen scissors, remove the fins from the salmon. Season the cavity of the salmon with salt and pepper and place the garlic and parsley in it.
  2. Place the salmon on the rack in a fish poacher or place a couple of layers of foil on the base of a roasting tin and place the salmon on it. Scatter the bay leaves, lemon, carrot and peppercorns around the salmon. Pour the wine over the top and enough water to just cover it. If using a roasting tin cover it with foil tightly around the fish.
  3. To Cook: Place the fish poacher or oven tray on the stove (if you need to place over 2 even sized burners or hot plates) slowly bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave it in the liquid until cooled (around 2 hours). The fish is cooked when the eyes are opaque and when you press the flesh in the centre feels firm.
  4. When the fish is cooked lift the rack from the poacher or remove it from the oven tray using a couple of large fish slices onto a large chopping board.
  5. Remove the garlic and parsley from the cavity of the salmon. Carefully peel off the skin with a small knife leaving the tail and head skin intact. Remove the small bones along the back of the salmon with the knife. Using the back of your knife carefully scrape off the layer of dark meat. Carefully remove the eyes from the salmon with a small knife (optional). Serve the salmon or refrigerate it until ready to garnish and serve.
  6. Dressing: Mix the creme fraiche with the mustard, lemon juice, dill and honey until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. To Garnish: Place cucumber slices along the dark line lengthwise on the centre of the salmon or decorate the salmon with the slices however you like. Place the half of the cherry tomato on the eye socket and garnish around the salmon with lemon slices. Serve
  8. To Serve: Serve the salmon with the dill sauce and your choice of side dishes eg. salad of new potatoes, pasta, tri colour salad etc.