Recipe: Cold Poached Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce



This make-ahead recipe is easy to prepare thanks to the microwave, although it can also be done in a pot on the stove-top. Just make sure to gently poach it in a simmering bath of liquid, not a hard boil, so the salmon stays intact. Perfect cool meal for those blast furnace Texas summer days. Salmon cooked this way also makes a nice topping for a Summer Nicoise Salad.)


  • 4 (4-6 oz. each) center-cut salmon fillets
  • Poaching Liquid:
  • 1 cup clam juice or water
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 4 lemon slices
  • Cucumber/Dill Sauce:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup seeded and very finely chopped or grated cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill


  1. In a microwave-safe dish, combine the ingredients for the poaching liquid. Mix well. Cover and microwave on high until mixture boils. Remove from microwave and carefully place fish in the poaching liquid. Let sit for 8-10 minutes. (Timing will vary depending on thickness of fish.)
  2. Carefully remove one piece and check for doneness (fish should flake easily with a fork). If not done, place back in the liquid and microwave for a minute or two more. Remove salmon from liquid, let cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (This can be done earlier in the day or the day before.)
  3. To make the Cucumber/Dill Sauce: combine the sour cream, cucumber, minced onion, garlic salt, and chopped fresh dill. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Cover and chill until cold, at least 1 hour.
  4. Let salmon sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.  For a nice presentation, place the fish on a lettuce leaf and garnish with fresh dill. Serve with lemon wedges and Cucumber/Dill Sauce on the side. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch
Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature, she is one of the Dining Divas. Barbara is a longtime member of the International Association of Culinary professionals (IACP). She is also a community volunteer, serving on the board of directors for City House, a nonprofit that shelters abused children and runaway homeless youth. And she is a member of the hospitality committee for the Plano Symphony Orchestra Guild.


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