Poached Salmon in a Mustard Dill Sauce

I’ve never, ever poached anything before.

To be honest, poached eggs kinda gross me out.  (No one in my family, who are Eggs Benedict connoisseurs, understands.)  I don’t know if it’s the translucent look or the runny texture – but whatever it is, it has kept me far, far away from anything poached.

Now, one of the things I enjoy is making a dinner dish that Hubs has never made before.  This is for two reasons.  One: it gets us to try new things, and two: Hubs can’t correct me while cooking, because he has no idea what’s going on.  A win-win for all.

He’s actually never poached fish before, so I decided I would try this lovely dish myself.

The Recipe:

Poached Salmon in Mustard Dill Sauce, adapted slightly from Martyna at  Wholesome Cook

350 ml water (a little less than 12 oz or 1 1/2 c)

20 g butter (about 1 T)

3 T flour

3 T Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c chopped dill


2 salmon fillets, cut in half longways

2 lemons


To make the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and whisk vigorously, add water and keep whisking until the sauce thickens to cream-like consistency.  (I did this all over medium high heat.)  Add mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off the heat and add chopped dill.

Cut salmon fillets in half longways.  Slice lemons, place in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Cook salmon in lemon water for about 6-8 minutes if you like it pink in the middle, or 10-12 minutes if you prefer it cooked all the way through.

{Printable Recipe}

The Results:

I admit I was a little worried at first about having to convert the measurements from metric to US customary (yes, I looked it up to see what our crazy measurement system is called).  I shouldn’t have worried, though.  Hubs has all sorts of fun tools like a scale and liquid measuring cups that do it for me – so I noted it for you in the recipe.

I started out by making the sauce – mostly because I wanted to make sure it was completely ready before the salmon was.  If you decided to cook your salmon the full 10 – 12 minutes, you will have plenty of time to make it while the salmon poaches.

Martyna suggested 4 T of Dijon mustard, but I thought there was plenty of flavor after three.  It’s completely up to your taste buds.  Just make sure to keep whisking away.  When it was done, I set it on the back of the stove top while I got to poaching.

I used a really big pot because I had no idea what I was doing.  I might suggest using a slightly smaller one, so that your salmon can really absorb some of that tasty lemon flavor.  Also, be careful not to over-poach…which happened to be my little problem.  I didn’t mean to, but someone had a desperate need for a diaper change at exactly the wrong time, and Hubs was nowhere to be found.  (Sorry to mention that in a recipe description, but hey, that’s my life.)

Basically, my salmon turned out a little drier than I was hoping.  (Who knew leaving salmon in water could dry it out?)  I do have to say, though, when I added the sauce, it came right back to life.  The sauce was tart, tangy, and infused with the delicious fresh dill.  The salmon, well, it tasted like salmon – with a little sweet and sour from the lemon water.

I served it with the always popular (well, at least recently) Lime-y Black Bean Quinoa.

Overall, it was fun to try a new way to cook salmon, and I’d definitely try it again.  And for sure, I would recommend the mustard sauce, especially if you’re a fan of Dijon.

And I did learn that poaching isn’t scary at all.

(Dirty diapers, on the other hand, surely are.)


8 thoughts on “Poached Salmon in a Mustard Dill Sauce

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and the sauce definitely makes even slightly-overpoaches fish creamy and moist again… Luckily I’m (well the kids are) out of diapers here but now they need help with homework or refereeing arguments so I have to be careful too. Thanks for trying the recipe.


  2. Yum, this sounds good! I tried making poached salmon a few months back for the first time as well. I had the same experience as you, it was a little dry. But I loved how easy it was! This sauce looks awesome, the perfect addition. I will have to give this a try!


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