How to Poach Fish Like a Pro

Fish can be cooked in many ways, and grilling, broiling, steaming, roasting and frying are just some of the methods to choose from. Poaching fish is a popular alternative, and ideal if you are working with delicate fish filets which would break in half if you were to flip them on the grill. It is a quick, easy and fuss-free cooking method for any kind of fish filets or whole small fish.

You will be able to add plenty of flavor without adding any fat, and choose from various types of fish, such as snapper, halibut, tilapia, cod, haddock, or sole. Fatty fish such as salmon or trout may also be poached. Fish cooked in this way may be served with a sauce or just as it is. Some people like to serve poached fish with wedges of lemon, or you might want to prepare a butter or cream-based sauce. The choice is of course yours.

For the poaching liquid, you can use something simple like water or milk, or try half bouillon and half white wine, or even cider mixed with water. First you need to combine the ingredients for the poaching liquid in a pan or skillet, then bring it to a boil. You can then add your fish and simmer it until it is cooked through. You will see the fish change from glossy to opaque as it cooks. Thin filets of fish will take just a few minutes until they are done, and you can then remove them from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon.

The following recipe shows you how to make a classic poached fish recipe and it serves 4 people. Try it with sole, halibut or any type of boneless fish filets. Once the fish is cooked, serve it with some of the onion, dill and lemon mixture spooned on top for a fragrant, delicious flavor. This is a healthy dish and it goes beautifully with asparagus or green beans or, if you prefer, a tossed baby leaf salad.


1 chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon fresh dill weed or 1/2 teaspoon dried
4 lemon slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless fish filets (any kind)

Pour an inch of water into a large skillet and add the onion, dill, lemon, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir the mixture and then bring it to a boil. Add the fish filets (skin side down if it has skin) in one layer. Cover the skillet and simmer the fish for 5 minutes or until it flakes easily, then serve immediately with your favorite side dishes. Bear in mind, the thicker your fish filets the longer they will take to cook through.

Taylor Nikaci

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