This is the most PERFECTLY cooked poached salmon. Ever. Simmered gently in dill and onion infused water until just done, it’s tender and flaky and moist every time. And the best part? It’s drizzled in melted butter with chives. Oh this is so good. SO good.
The only thing that could possibly make this low-carb, 15-minute (yes, 15 MINUTE) recipe better is having someone else cook it for you. And lucky me- my father did just that when he came to visit last week!
What better way to celebrate Norwegian Independence Day than with a Norwegian poached salmon recipe?
It was SO good, and SO simple, and it took him almost no time to make it at all. I knew I had to have him teach me how to make it, so I could share it with you good people.
I couldn’t wait more than a week to make it again. This might have to become a weekly recipe in our house.
I’m telling you- this recipe could not be easier to make.
In summary, here’s what you do: boil salmon in water with some dill, salt, and red onion. Drizzle with melted butter and chives.
But there are a few tricks and tips that will help you get the best, most flavorful, most fall-apart flaky poached salmon ever. Here they are.
First, flavor the poaching liquid well. Amounts aren’t too important here, but when in doubt, add more. I used four big sprigs of dill (from the garden!), two thick slices of red onion (and separated the rings), and a generous amount of kosher salt (about 1 tablespoon).
As the fish cooks, it will absorb the flavors of the liquid, so you want to make sure there’s a lot of flavor for it to absorb. Kind of like what you cook pasta or boil potatoes in very salty water. Salty like the sea.
Second, boil the fish gently. If the water boils too much, it will cause the fish to cook faster and be less fall-apart flaky. You want to bring the water to barely a bubble and basically simmer it once you get it going. I use this method to poach chicken breasts, too.
Use just enough water to barely cover the fish so it’s not super submerged, and cover the skillet as it cooks.
Just look at that perfect flaky goodness. Mmm, mmm.
Third, be careful when removing it when it’s done! If you cooked the fish correctly, it will want to fall apart when you pick it up out of the skillet. I used two utensils to get it out- a wide spatula and a wooden spoon on the other end. I am adding a fish spatula to my list of things to get- it would have worked perfectly!
The final step is melting some salted butter with some chopped fresh chives and drizzling it over the top of the fish before serving. No need to get fancy here- I just microwaved the butter and chives together in a pyrex measuring cup until it was melted.
I recommend serving this with boiled potatoes (also excellent for drizzling the chive butter) and steamed asparagus or green beans.
Pro-tip: save the strained poaching liquid to add to fish stew or seafood chowder.
Try these other easy salmon recipes:
- Garlic Butter Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies
- Orange Glazed Salmon
- Salmon, Arugula, and Feta Frittata
- One-Pan Garlic Butter Salmon and Swiss Chard
- Chipotle Salmon Tacos with Cilantro Lime Crema
- Seared Salmon with Scallion Butter
- Seared Salmon with Avocado, Lemon, and Garlic Aioli
- Garlic Poached Salmon with Creamy Lemon Caper Sauce
Here’s how to make 15-minute perfect poached salmon with chive butter!
Perfect Poached Salmon with Chive Butter
- 1-1.25 lbs. salmon skin on, thick center cut preferable, cut into 4 portions
- 3-4 sprigs fresh dill plus more for garnish
- kosher salt to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 thick slices red onion
- 4 tablespoons salted butter see notes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- In a large skillet with a lid, place the salmon pieces skin side down with the onion, dill sprigs, and about a tablespoon of salt. Cover everything with cold water.
- Place on your stovetop and turn on the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until salmon flakes apart easily with a fork. Make sure it stays submerged in the water- add more if you need to.
- Meanwhile, melt the salted butter (4 tablespoons) and the chives (1 tablespoon) together (I microwaved it for about 20 seconds).
- Carefully remove the salmon from the skillet (I used a fish spatula to do this) and serve drizzled with the chive butter and garnished with extra fresh dill.
- If you don't have salted butter, just add a pinch of salt in with the chives.
- Serving suggestion: serve with boiled potatoes and steamed asparagus, and drizzle the vegetables with some of the chive butter.
- Don't waste the poaching liquid. Strain it and save it, in your fridge or freezer, as stock for making seafood or clam chowders, fish stew, etc.
- For a dairy-free/paleo compliant version, use ghee instead of butter.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
- Fish Spatula