How to Poach Seafood

Poaching seafood is an underrated cooking technique is a great way to impart flavor while reducing fat and calories (no fat to low fat cooking!).

I’m going to bring poaching to the forefront and away from the dusty back pages of forgotten cookbooks. It’s simple, delicious and easy-and you should be poaching more often.

Here’s how to poach seafood…

Court Bouillon-Our Culinary Term of the Day

A court bouillon is a fancy way to say ‘flavorful broth’. This is the simmering liquid used in poaching all seafood to impart flavor (as opposed to just cooking in plain water). It’s a combination of cut vegetables (usually onion, celery and carrots), wine, acid (like citrus juice or vinegar) and aromatics.

Classic Court Bouillon- Classic court bouillon is a combination of (1 cup) white wine, (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice and (1/2 gallon) water flavored with (1each, peeled) onion, (1 stalk) celery, (1 each) carrots, (3 each) bay leaves, (2-3 tablespoons) flaky salt and (2 teaspoons) black peppercorns.

I like to play with my poaching liquid flavor and here are a couple of combos I like using…

Tangy Spicy Lime

  • (3/4 cup) tequila
  • (1/2 cup) lime juice
  • (1/2 gallon) water
  • (1each, peeled) onion
  • (1 stalk) celery, (3 each) garlic cloves
  • (1 each, sliced) jalapeno
  • (2-3 tablespoons) salt
  • (1 tablespoon) hot sauce

 

Summer Citrus and Herb

  • (1 cup) rose wine
  • (1/2 cup) lemon juice
  • (3 each) garlic cloves
  • basil sprigs
  • tarragon sprigs
  • dill sprigs
  • (2-3 tablespoons) salt 
  • (2 teaspoons) black peppercorns

 

Provence Rouge

  • (1 cup) red wine
  • (1/2 cup) lemon juice
  • (1) fennel bulb
  • (1 each, peeled) onion
  • (1 stalk) celery
  • (1 each) carrots
  • (3 each) bay leaves
  • (2-3 tablespoons) flaky salt
  • (2 teaspoons) black peppercorns

 

How to Poach

Poaching is extremely easy with really just one rule to remember…Simmer. DON’T Boil. Boiling will cause your seafood to break apart or cook to quickly (and turn rubbery).

If poaching fish….

I like to use fish that is a little hearty when poaching. More delicate fish runs the risk of falling apart in your pot. Here are my top poaching picks…

  • Rockfish
  • Mahi
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Cod

Poach fish in simmering court bouillon for about 10 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Remove from the pot and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving (just so the juices can rest) or refrigerate to use in salads or cold sandwiches.

If poaching shrimp, lobster tails or scallops

Shrimp, lobster and scallops are the popular choices when most folks think of poaching-I love em.

Poach shrimp in simmering court bouillon for 5 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Remove from the pot and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving (just so the juices can rest) or refrigerate to use in salads or cold sandwiches.

Poach lobster tails in simmering court bouillon for 7-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Remove from the pot and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving (just so the juices can rest) or refrigerate to use in salads or cold sandwiches.

Poach scallops in simmering court bouillon for 5-7 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Remove from the pot and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving (just so the juices can rest) or refrigerate to use in salads or cold sandwiches.

 

Buy Seafood Online

All of the seafood listed in these poaching tips are available at our online store. As we say, ‘from shore to door, 3 days fresher than the grocery store’-all of our seafood is delivered right to your door when you schedule it, guaranteed! That’s convenience you need when meal planning and prepping.

We’d love to see how you poach with Cameron’s Seafood-share your images on any of our social pages, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter be sure to tag us @cameronsseafoodonline.

About the author

Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron’s Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.

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