poached salmon

Cold Poached Salmon with Horseradish Dill Sauce Recipe

Cold Poached Salmon sounds like the tired workhorse of your familiar fish repertoire.

But poached salmon is a huge crowd pleaser.

You will be happy to have a flawless poached salmon that “poaches” in the oven.

No fuss, no mess, and all the flavors are all sealed in, not lost in the poaching liquid—this produces a succulent moist fish. Don’t overcook poached salmon for even a minute, or the flesh will toughen. If you like, the Horseradish Dill Sauce can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. You will love the sauce, not only on poached salmon, but on many other fish and poultry recipes, even as a spread on sandwiches, with cheese, grilled veggies or smoked turkey.

This poached salmon will make 16 ample servings.


  • 1 whole salmon (about 6 pounds after cleaning), butterflied, rinsed, and dried thoroughly
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • Salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 very large bunches dill, fronds and stems

For the Horseradish Dill Sauce

  • 1 large bunch dill, fronds and stems
  • 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise (making a dairy meal? Consider using 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt)
  • 1⁄4 cup prepared white horseradish
  • 1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To prepare the salmon: Cut off the flat, opaque strips that run the whole length of the salmon and discard. Rub the fish all over with the olive oil. Rub it again with the lemons, squeezing them as you go. Then rub with salt and pepper to taste. Pack the dill inside the cavity, close the fish, and wrap it very tightly in double layers of foil, sealing the fish completely.

Place the fish in a baking pan and bake for exactly 50 minutes. Remove the salmon from the oven and let it come to room temperature, still in its wrappings. Chill completely before unwrapping.

To prepare the sauce: While the fish is chilling, make the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

To serve: Unwrap the fish and remove all the dill from the cavity and discard it. Place the fish on a platter and serve with the sauce.

2 replies
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Lilian Hmmmm I wouldn’t do that. There are many salmon recipes you can make using individual portions. Traditionally, salmon is always poached whole.

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