poached salmon with vegetables

There are a few ways to cook salmon – baking and poaching being two popular methods. I like baked salmon if I marinate it or use a sauce topping but poached salmon is great for using seasonings such as lemon pepper, one of my favorites.

The first time I had poached salmon was actually at Sam’s Club. They were having samples of lemon pepper poached salmon and I loved it. My parents asked them how the salmon was cooked and we were amazed that it was seasoned on top and cooked in water – that’s it! I don’t think my parents have ever made salmon any other way!

I usually prefer to poach rather than bake salmon as well. With my experience, baking tends to overcook and dry out the sides of the salmon, especially the thinner part. But with poaching, though it is possible to overcook the salmon, it’s much easier not to. Even if it gets slightly overcooked, the sides of the salmon do not get tough or dried out. And the ‘sauce’ that develops during cooking is delicious – do not drain it out! It’s basically a salmon broth that gets seasoned with the seasoning that you use.

For dinner, I served this with a side of vegetables. Then I also had it for lunch in a salad. If you can find a large piece of salmon to buy (somewhere like Costco or Sam’s Club), it’s the best deal and then you may have enough salmon to use it in multiple ways.. well, depending on how many people you have to feed.

Poached Salmon
Cuisine: Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This salmon recipe is so easy - it only requires 3 ingredients!
  • Fresh or frozen salmon fillet (thawed) - use any amount that you want to cook
  • Seasoning of choice (examples: lemon pepper, seafood seasoning, 6 pepper blend, garlic seasoning, etc)
  • Water
  • Salt (only if your seasoning does not already contain salt - read the ingredients!)
  1. Place salmon into a large skillet. You may cook a whole piece of salmon but I suggest cutting it into pieces that you would serve for faster, more even cooking.
  2. Season salmon with your seasoning very generously. If your seasoning already contains salt, do not salt the salmon. However, if your seasoning does not contain salt, salt the salmon lightly before adding the seasoning mix.
  3. Get a cup or glass of water and pour into skillet around the salmon (not on top). Keep adding water until it covers the salmon about ⅓ of the way up. So if your salmon is about an inch thick in the middle, the water level should be about ⅓ inch.
  4. Cover and bring water to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Check if the salmon is done by seeing if it flakes easily right in the center. You'll know if it's not done if the salmon isn't easily flaking and separating. Or use a food thermometer to make sure it gets up to 145F in the center.
You may get skin-on fillets or skinless fillets. I have made this using both. Cooking will allow the skin to separate easily from the salmon.