Whole fish and portions can be poached in a variety of liquids. Lightly salted water, fish stock, wine, court bouillon (water, white wine vinegar, onion, peppercorns, carrots, celery and bay leaf) and olive oil are all good, and smoked haddock is especially fine when poached in milk. Once cooked, the liquors can be used as the base of a sauce.

  • This type of cooking retains many of the natural flavours and texture of the fish
  • Half fill small pan with poaching liquor and bring to the boil and reduce down to a simmer
  • Slide fish into liquor ensuring it is completely submerged
  • Cook until the fish feels just firm to the touch


  • Keep the liquor simmering as boiling will cause the flesh to break up
  • Be adventurous with your cooking liquor, a few saffron strands will give a perfect colour which will infuse into the fish.
  • Boiling
  • Lobsters and Crabs can be boiled, but not recommended for fish.
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