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    Poached Salmon with Watercress and Cucumber Sauce

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    Poached Salmon with Watercress and Cucumber Sauce

    Poaching whole salmon enhances the delicate flavour of the fish and keeps the flesh moist.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: about 20 minutes, plus 2-3 hours cooling
    • Total time: about 35 minutes, plus 2-3 hours cooling 35 minutes

    Serves: 8 - 10


    • 2-2.3kg whole salmon, gutted and cleaned
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
    • 10g pack fresh dill
    • 20g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 75cl bottle dry white wine
    • 300ml fish stock
    • 10 black peppercorns
    • 2 bay leaves, torn
    • For the sauce
    • 500g set natural yogurt
    • 85g pack watercress, chopped
    • ½ cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and finely chopped
    • ½ x 20g pack fresh mint, finely chopped


    1. Rinse the salmon under cold running water, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Fill the cavity of the fish with the lemon slices, dill and parsley. Place the salmon in a fish kettle and pour the wine and stock over, adding a little more wine or water if necessary, to cover the fish. Add the peppercorns and bay leaves.
    2. Place the fish kettle on the hob and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the poaching water to cool completely (at least 2-3 hours).
    3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the yogurt, watercress, cucumber and mint. Season to taste. Cover and chill until needed.
    4. Remove the cooled salmon from the kettle, drain and place on a tray or large plate. Carefully remove the head, skin and any dark flesh, then transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with watercress, lemon and lime wedges, and thin strips of cucumber, cut vertically with a potato peeler. Serve with the watercress and cucumber sauce.

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    Cook's tips

    Whole salmon can be cleaned and prepared by the Fish Service Counter. Fish kettles are available to hire at no charge, but it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

    Poach the salmon up to 24 hours before it is needed. Cool, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.

    Drinks recommendation

    The fresh, clean, tangy flavour of Montana Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Marlborough, from New Zealand, is perfect for serving with salmon.


    Average user rating

    4 stars