Whole Poached Salmon

Whole poached salmon

Serves 8


  • 1 salmon weighing 2-3kg/4-6lb
  • Court bouillon:
  • 300ml/10 fl oz white wine vinegar
  • 1 large sprig parsley
  • 1 large sprig thyme
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1L/2 pt water
  • Garnish:
  • Cucumber slices, watercress, lemon wedges and mayonnaise.


You will need a 24" fish kettle.

  1. Bring court bouillon ingredients to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Gently lower in the salmon and bring to boil.
  3. If serving hot, lower heat to just below boiling and continue cooking for 30-35 minutes depending on size of fish. If serving cold, turn off and leave for eight hours (it cooks to perfection as it cools).
  4. Remove skin on top side. Use a light touch: it should peel off easily. Garnish.
  5. To serve: after removing skin, note 'lateral line' running nose to tail on side of fish. Put a blunt knife into this until it meets the bone and gently run knife up and down the line to separate upper and lower fillets. Scoop portions above the lateral line off the skeleton. Ditto lower (a little more tricky). When entire skeleton is exposed, pick up tail end of backbone in thumb and finger and lift away from bottom fillet. It should come away neatly and almost intact. Remove any bones that remain behind.
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