This delicious, healthy, alcohol-free recipe (no wine!) for poached salmon was shared with us nearly fifteen years ago by private chef Kristin O’Connor. She focuses on nutritious, clean ingredients, which is why her resume includes working for Hollywood A-listers, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper. We aren’t sure if they ever had this specific dish, but it’s definitely a star recipe in our book.
Almost Famous Poached Salmon with Apricot Sauce
By using a poaching technique rather than pan frying, Kristin infuses flavor into the salmon without the need for any added oils. We’ve recently updated her zesty recipe and have added some of her tips within the FAQs below.
Should I Use Wild or Farmed Salmon?
Kristin uses wild salmon to make poached salmon since it’s higher in Omega3 fatty acids and has lower exposure to contamination and pesticides such as PCB’s. Farmed steelhead and rainbow trout are good alternatives if the cost of wild salmon is prohibitive. And this poached salmon recipe will still work well with farmed salmon.
How Much Salt Should I Use?
We estimated about 1/4 teaspoon when calculating the nutrition facts, but I would simply do your best to evenly sprinkle a light amount on the top of the salmon filets.
Can I Use Lemon instead of Lime?
Definitely. Lemon also pairs well with salmon and the other flavors in this poached salmon recipe.
Where Can I Get Apricot Spread?
Believe it or not, apricot spread is available at most grocery stores! We like Crofter’s Just Fruit Spread, but Smucker’s is also readily available at the market. And there are more imported brands on Amazon. For the purest option, you can make your own no sugar apricot jam. You can use any leftover jam to make dairy-free apricot muffins.
Is Poached Salmon Really Healthier?
We’ve often been told that boiling leaches nutrition, so this is a valid question. Kristin shared the following information from a naturopathic doctor that she worked with, “Poaching is one of the healthiest methods to cook salmon. It is a low temperature cooking technique produces very low levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGES) and acrylamides, which are both naturally occurring unhealthy molecules created with cooking that can increase diabetes, heart disease and cancer.” It’s also a naturally dairy-free way to cook salmon without need for butter or oil.
Special Diet Notes: Poached Salmon with Apricot Sauce
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and oil-free. It can also be paleo-friendly and is added sugar-free.
- 1 pound salmon filets (wild works well with this recipe)
- Salt, as needed
- 1¼ cups orange juice
- 1¼ cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon white peppercorns (can substitute black peppercorns)
- 2 sprigs fresh mint or parsley
- 1 sprig fresh dill
- ½ cup pure apricot spread (no sugar added)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch black or white pepper
- Lightly season the salmon fillets with salt.
- Place a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the orange juice, vegetable broth, lime juice and zest, peppercorns, and herbs. Cover and let the poaching liquid simmer for at least 5 minutes.
- Place the salmon skin side down in the poaching liquid, cover, and let it simmer for about 12 minutes. It could take a little longer to cook through depending on the thickness of your fish fillet.
- Remove the salmon to plates for serving, or let it cool slightly and gently break it up for use in wraps, lettuce wraps, or over greens.
- Add the apricot spread, rice vinegar, ginger, and pepper to a small saucepan, and place it over medium heat. Whisk and heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the ingredients are melted and well incorporated.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl for dipping, on salmon wraps, or drizzle it over the fish. This makes about ¾ cup sauce, so you might have leftover sauce.