For Perfectly Pink Salmon, Poach Fillets In Olive Oil

Poaching salmon is a quick and healthy way to cook the fillet and saturate it with a rich flavor. The mark of great poached salmon is a beautiful pink color with a deliciously tender taste. To achieve this, poach your salmon fillets in olive oil.

Poaching involves slowly simmering your food at a low heat until it's tender. While this is often achieved with water, broth, wine, or milk, olive oil is an incredible choice for poaching salmon. It has a grassy, peppery flavor that makes the fish take on an earthier note, resulting in something much richer than its usual sweetness. As a fat, olive oil delivers buttery smooth salmon that melts into your mouth. To keep the notes of the olive oil intact, it needs to be cooked at a lower temperature; 180 F should do the trick.

Not only does this prevent the taste of the olive oil from dying off, but it preserves the delicate pink color of the salmon. When overcooked, the fish tends to take on a whitish tinge, so you'll want to maintain the temperature and cook it for no longer than 15 minutes. Olive oil already has a delicious flavor, so you'll only need to add a few herbs and spices when poaching the fish. Simmer it in the olive oil so it can infuse it with flavor or drop an aromatic-filled sachet into the pot before placing the salmon inside.

What type of olive oil should you use when poaching salmon?

Almost any type of olive oil can work when poaching salmon, but when deciding between flavor and price, there's not really a clear winner. With poaching, you'll need to cover the entire salmon fillets in the oil, so going through a whole bottle won't take too long. In that case, regular olive oil is a decent choice. It still has a decidedly herbaceous flavor, but won't be as pricey as extra virgin olive oil. With the addition of a few herbs and spices, the poached salmon will still taste incredible.

If you're willing to splurge a little more, virgin olive oil is the way to go. It has more of a potent flavor than plain olive oil, but without the heavy price tag and robust taste that extra virgin olive oil has. If you don't want to use your entire bottle of finishing oil on poached fish, virgin olive oil has a luscious taste and is still pretty economical.

No matter which olive oil you use, using it to poach salmon doesn't mean it still can't be used again. Once the fish is out of the pot and the oil has cooled down, strain and bottle the oil. The salmon-tinged olive oil can be used to finish off salads, saute vegetables, and adorn bruschetta.