Poaching has a reputation for producing dishes that are healthful and wholesome, but not necessarily big on flavor. Our approach to poaching fish fillets fixes this flavor problem.
To recap: The reason that these poached salmon fillets are so rich and flavorful is that as they cook, only their bottoms make contact with the poaching liquid—the flesh retains its flavor compounds instead of releasing them into surrounding liquid. In addition, a layer of lemon slices lifts the fillets off the bottom of the pan to protect them from overcooking. After the fillets are removed from the pan, the poaching liquid is made into a sauce to accompany the fish.
The poached salmon is rounded out with vegetables that are steamed until perfectly tender-crisp.
Note that we cook the salmon to medium-rare in this recipe. If you prefer rare salmon (with a large translucent area in the middle of each fillet), shorten the cooking time by 2 minutes, or remove the salmon when the internal temperature reaches 110 degrees.
Total Cooking Time: 45
Preparation Time: 15
Active Cooking Time: 30
Make Ahead: Serve immediately
Yield: 4 servings