Cold Poached Salmon with Cumin Yogurt Sauce


Andrew Zimmern taught this recipe in Boiling Water 101, a class he taught for 10 years at a school in Minnesota. He developed this recipe to teach a basic skill that also delivers complex flavors. It's an excellent touchstone for family meals or entertaining. The technique is simple: Simmer the salmon in water seasoned with wine, onion, celery, peppercorns and parsley, then let it sit while it finishes cooking. He serves it with sliced cucumber and lemon, and a cumin yogurt sauce. Slideshow: Great Ideas for Salmon 

Cold Poached Salmon
Photo: © Stephanie Meyer
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
8 to 10



  • 3 cups dry white wine

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 3 celery ribs, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • 3 parsley sprigs

  • One 3-pound fillet fatty salmon, pin bones removed

  • 6 thin lemon slices, for garnish

  • 12 thin cucumber slices, for garnish

cumin yogurt sauce

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/3 cup finely diced seeded cucumber

  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 3 tablespoons minced capers

  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro

  • 3 tablespoons minced dill

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground white pepper


Prepare the Salmon

  1. In a fish poacher or a pot large enough to hold the salmon, combine the wine, onion, celery, peppercorns and parsley. Add 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the salmon fillet (it should be fully submerged) and bring the water to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until the salmon is just cooked through, about 8 to 9 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Make the Yogurt Sauce

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the raita ingredients and mix well.

  2. Using 2 spatulas, carefully transfer the salmon fillet to a large platter. Dab off any white bits and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.

  3. Garnish salmon with the lemon and cucumber slices and serve with the raita.

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