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Kitchen Tip: How to Poach Seafood

The following tips, video and photography were provided by our partner, Chef Billy Parisi.

When it comes to cooking fish, one of the healthiest and most fool-proof methods is poaching. The process is easy and requires only a few minutes and a simple braising liquid. Let’s discover how it’s done!

Step 1: Create the Braising Liquid
You can choose any fish you like, including shellfish, when using the poaching method. Once you select the fish, it’s all about creating the best braising liquid. The key is to make it as flavorful as possible.

To achieve intense flavor, add some grass-fed butter or ghee, 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, this braising liquid should taste like the ocean.

Once all of the ingredients are in 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.

Step 2: Poach the Fish
Once the braising liquid is simmering, add the fish. This tutorial features fresh, omega-3-rich salmon, but feel free sure to select a fish that you love. Heinen’s Seafood Department has an incredible 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.

Step 3: Serve the Poached Fish
After the allotted time, remove the fish from the braising liquid using a slotted spatula and serve.

The fish can be served as is, or you can turn it into a salad with Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayonnaise, celery and onions. It’s even great paired with toasted Ezekiel bread 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.

Poached Salmon on a Salad
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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