When I told my mum I was going to poach salmon in my slow cooker, she didn’t seem too keen on the idea. Mainly because Mum and I have the same idea that salmon should be cooked to a medium temperature, and not all the way through.
However, I loved the flavours that were part of this salmon recipe, and I figured that I would give it a shot. The end result was that the salmon was cooked thoroughly all the way through, it wasn’t over-cooked, and still flaked beautifully when you touched it with a fork.
The beauty of this recipe is that you could change the ingredients completely to come up with an entirely different style of salmon. Instead of using fennel, lemon, and white wine, you could try ginger, chilli and soy sauce. Or try orange and lemon grass. Throw dill into the mix. The varieties are endless.
I decided to keep it simple and use aromatic fruits and vegetables: fennel, lemon, garlic and shallots. Plus white wine, of course.
I bought 500 kg of salmon, as one fillet and decided to poach it as a single piece. You could cut the fish into serving sizes, if you so wished (or if your slow cooker is too small to house a large fillet of fish).
In order to make it easier to remove the fish once cooked, it’s best to line the slow cooker with parchment/baking paper first, with a little extra up the sides. That way, when you take the fish out of the slow cooker, it doesn’t fall apart.
My slow cooker just has a low and high function, with automatic timings, however I just kept an eye on the time and turned the cooker off when the one hour was up. The timing is all entirely dependent on how thick the fillet is. Mine was quite thin, so could probably have been done in 45 minutes and still been perfect. Thicker pieces will need an hour, maybe more if you really want to infuse the flavours but don’t mind the salmon being cooked all the way through.
The beauty of poaching in white wine and water is that the salmon stays moist, so there’s no worry about it drying out. I’d be intrigued to see what other flavour combinations people come up with if they try out this recipe.
500g boneless salmon fillet, skin on
1/2 fennel, sliced into thin pieces
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups water
- Season the flesh of the salmon with salt and pepper.
- Layer the bottom of the slow cooker with parchment paper, allowing for some to come up the sides (these will be used as handles to remove the salmon once done).
- Spread the lemon, fennel, garlic and shallot along the parchment paper, lining the entire base.
- Place the salmon fillet on top of the aromatics, skin side down.
- Gently pour the white wine and water into the slow cooker, until the liquid just covers the fillet of salmon.
- Turn the slow cooker on low, and allow to cook for one hour.
- Check the fish after an hour, and if it still needs more time, cook for longer.
Enjoy with new potatoes and steamed asparagus or spinach.