How to Poach Fish

Poaching refers to the technique of cooking food slowly and gently in a simmering, but not boiling, liquid. The poaching liquid may be flavored or seasoned. This flavor will then transfer to the fish. Here's how to poach fish steaks:
  1. Rinse fish steaks and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Place fish in saucepan just the size to hold them. Add enough poaching liquid to barely cover fish.

    Add enough liquid to just barely cover the fish.
    Add enough liquid to just barely cover the fish.

  3. Bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. (Do not boil. This will cause fish to break apart.) Adjust heat, if necessary, to keep liquid at a simmer.

  4. Simmer 10 minutes or until center is opaque and fish flakes easily when tested with fork.

  5. Remove fish with slotted spatula.

  6. Remove skin and bones from fish with paring knife.

    Before serving, remove the skin and bones.
    Before serving, remove the skin and bones.
Cooking fish in parchment is a great way to keep moisture in. Find out more in the next section.

Want more information? Try these:
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Cooking Seafood: Get your feet wet by exploring the best ways to prepare seafood.
  • Fish Recipes: Reel in dozens of amazing fish recipes from this article.
  • Shellfish: From shrimp and lobster to clams, mussels, and more, you'll find valuable information on shellfish at HowStuffWorks.