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Kitchen Tip: How to Poach Seafood

Kitchen Tip: How to Poach Seafood and Fish
Kitchen Tip: How to Poach Seafood

This post is a part of Heinen’s Kitchen Tips and Techniques series designed to give everyone the skills and confidence they need to make any recipe. Videos, photographs and descriptions were provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi. 

Today I am going to show you one of my favorite techniques when it comes to cooking fish and it called poaching. We’re going to make a  delicious, flavorful braising liquid to cook our fish and it’s going to be absolutely amazing!


When it comes to the technique of poaching, I usually think of two things: seafood and chicken. You can choose whatever fish you like, it even works for shellfish, but it does all start with the braising liquid and it needs to be flavorful.

To achieve that intense flavor, add butter, celery, garlic, onion, lemon, parsley and white wine to a pot and season heavily with salt and peppercorns. The amount of each ingredient you add will depend on your flavor preference, but remember, you want this braising liquid to taste like the ocean.

Once all of the ingredients are added to the pot, fill it with 3-4 inches of water and place it on the stove over medium heat to bring it to a gentle simmer. It’s important that you do not boil the braising liquid or the fish will break apart during the poaching process.


Once it is simmering, add the fish. Today I am working with beautiful, fresh salmon, but be sure to select a fish that you love. Heinen’s Seafood Department has an awesome selection!

Once the salmon is placed in the braising liquid, it is only going to take between 4 and 5 minutes for it to cook through and become flavorful, tender and juicy. If you prefer salmon prepared medium or medium-well, cook it for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes.


After the allotted time, remove the salmon from the braising liquid using a slotted spatula and it’s time to serve!

You can serve this salmon as is, or you can turn it into a salad with mayonnaise, celery and onions. It’s even great paired with toast for breakfast! For me, I like to put it on a nice green, veggie-loaded salad.

That’s all there is to it! Incredibly delicious and so easy-to-perform, poaching is a simple cooking technique that can be used all year long.

How to Poach Seafood and Fish
Chef Billy Parisi headshot
By Chef Billy Parisi
Chef Billy Parisi is a culinary school grad who spent 15 years in the restaurant industry as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. Now he develops, photographs and films simple and delicious recipes that will make everyone feel like a chef in their own kitchen.

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