This Poached Salmon with Blueberry Sauce is made with decadent King salmon poached in spiced white wine, and served with an easy blueberry sauce.
This recipe is sponsored by Regal New Zealand King Salmon, but as always, all opinions are my own.
The husband and I have been eating a lot of salmon lately– so much so that I think we’re probably walking balls of omega-3! We’ve eaten our salmon seared, grilled, baked, and even cured— any way that I’d prepare this pretty pink fish, we’d eat it. Recently, though, I was looking through an old Julia Child cook book, and saw something else that I wanted to try– poached salmon.
If poaching fish sounds intimidating– it’s not! In fact, it’s entirely possible that this is the EASIEST way to prepare salmon. It’s quick, your salmon will stay moist, and the cook time is a little more forgiving than with baking, searing, or grilling. This Poached Salmon with Blueberry Sauce is made with luxurious King salmon, comes together in minutes, and is perfect for Date Night!
Buying Quality Salmon
This summer, as the husband and I devoured salmon, salmon, and then also, more salmon– I confirmed something that I already knew. Not all salmon is equal. When you’re at the grocery store, and you reach for a bag of frozen salmon– be aware that some of the salmon on the market is low quality. It will NEVER taste as delicious as higher quality salmon– no matter how well you prepare it.
What should you look for when you’re salmon shopping? For one thing– look for lots of information. The more transparent a brand is about how they source and handle their seafood, the more likely they are to feature high-quality fish. Fish that are handled by reputable companies are more likely to be healthy– and that means that they’ll taste better when the fish gets to you.
Recently, I had the chance to try out some luxurious King salmon from Regal New Zealand King Salmon. Regal’s Marlborough King Salmon are farm raised in New Zealand, are allowed to grow to maturity in clear spring waters, and then are transferred to the uncrowded and crystal clear Marlborough Sounds. Their eco-friendly and sustainable seafood farming practices earned them the Best Aquaculture Practices certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance, and New Zealand farmed salmon is considered a ‘Best Choice’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Regal’s salmon is exceptional (and oh so tasty!).
King salmon– the fattiest and most sought-after type of salmon– can sometimes be hard to find! Where can you find it? This summer, look for Regal’s King Salmon in the frozen food section at Costco! They’ll be available at Costcos all across the Northeastern United States– particularly in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Not sure where the closest Costco is? Try using their store finder.
If you aren’t familiar with poaching– it means to cook something inside a hot liquid. Even if you’ve never poached anything, you’ve probably seen or heard of poached eggs. Why poach your food? With fish, it’s a nice technique because you can add flavor without risking dry fish. If you normally bake your fish, and find that you accidentally overcook your fish on a normal basis– it’s probably time to try poaching.
Julia Child’s poached salmon used water and wine vinegar, but I wanted to switch things up! For this poached salmon– you’ll need a few cups of white wine, some green cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick, and a little salt. Use the smallest pot possible that will still allow you to set the fish in a single layer inside the pot. You’re going to bring the wine, spices, and a little water to a simmer. Add the fish, return to a very gentle simmer (don’t let it boil), and cook for about 8 minutes.*
Meanwhile, add the blueberries to a nonstick pan and cover it. Heat them over medium-low heat until the berries begin to burst, and then reduce the heat to low. Taste the sauce– if your berries were very sweet, it shouldn’t need any sweetener. If your berries weren’t as sweet, add a little sugar until you like the flavor.
When the salmon is ready, take it out of the poaching wine with a slotted spatula. Serve it with the blueberry sauce, keeping in mind that blueberries stain everything– including your pretty pink salmon fillet. If you’re worried about the staining, serve the sauce on the side or underneath the salmon. Enjoy your fancy-schmancy meal immediately while everything is still hot, and bon appetit!
Have you tried King salmon? What’s your favorite way to prepare salmon? Let me know in the comments!
*Note: This recipe is written for King salmon, which tends to be very thick. If you’re using a thinner piece of salmon– reduce the cook time to 5 minutes.
Poached Salmon with Blueberry Sauce
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 TB sugar (optional, depending on sweetness of berries)
- 2 King salmon fillets (~7oz each)* (See Recipe Notes) Regal New Zealand King Salmon recommended
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
Place blueberries in a medium nonstick covered pan over medium-low heat. Once berries burst, turn heat to low. Taste sauce, and add sugar if desired.
Crush the cardamom pods with the back of a knife.
Use the smallest pot that will comfortably fit both pieces of salmon, and add the wine, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. If the liquid level is lower than 3", add water until the liquid is deep enough to cover the salmon fillets.
Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Add the salmon, and poach the salmon in simmering liquid for 8 minutes, or until the salmon pushes back against the tip of a wooden spoon.
Remove salmon from the poaching liquid using a thin metal spatula, and gently remove the skin if desired.
Serve immediately with blueberry sauce. (Note- the blueberry sauce WILL STAIN the fish, so serve the sauce on the side or beneath the salmon.)
*A Note on Cook Time: This recipe is specifically written for thick King salmon fillets. For thinner fillets of Atlantic, pink, or other salmon-- reduce cook time to 5 minutes.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal, and was calculated specifically for king salmon. Calorie calculations estimate approximately 1/2 cup of white wine is absorbed into the fish, based on the amount of poaching liquid remaining after cooking, and do not include the optional sugar.