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Poached Salmon with Irish Butter Sauce – wild caught salmon is gently poached in salted water then topped with a lemony butter sauce. The salmon and sauce can be ready in about 20 minutes so that makes this a delicious, quick and easy meal for any night of the week.
I love the old time-honored recipes that have been around for ages. With just a few ingredients, you can enjoy this delicious Irish recipe from the cookbook titled “Irish Traditional Cooking” by Darina Allen. Every now and then, I flip through the pages of this interesting cookbook and read the stories about the origin of the recipes, and the traditional way families shared them. With over 300 recipes I may never get through them all!
We love salmon in our house, and have enjoyed it using many different cooking methods. We often poach chicken for recipes but I’ve never tried poached fish cooked in salted water. I am very pleased with the way it turned out. The salmon has a lovely texture and is cooked perfectly.
Now, let’s discuss three little magical words … Irish … butter … sauce.
This crazy good butter sauce is like icing on a cake. It’s actually a hollandaise made with a few egg yolks, butter, water and lemon. Classic, delicious, rich and perfect served drizzled over poached salmon!
Poached salmon with Irish Butter Sauce is great served at any meal, any time of the day. Add it to your next breakfast, brunch, lunch or St. Patrick’s Day menu!
Do you know why Irish butter is so good?
It’s because the cows are all so happy! We met a few cows on our Travels to Ireland, and have never seen such pretty, healthy, friendly cows. It must be because the grass in Ireland is so very green, lush and thick, not at all dry.
Finally, you don’t have to use actual Irish butter to make the sauce, but I say why not? Kerrygold butter is one of our favorites and it’s easy to find in the stores. To be super authentic, you could use sea water to cook the salmon instead of salted tap water. Since we’re not on the coast, we went with homemade salt water with a ratio of 5 cups of water to 1 tablespoon salt. The salmon was not at all salty and cooked to perfection.
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- 5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 lb wild caught salmon fillets (about 4)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into 10-12 pieces
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine the water and salt and stir until dissolved. Place the salmon in a pan that's just large enough to put them in a single layer. Add enough water to barely cover the salmon. The idea is to use a minimum amount of water to preserve maximum flavor. If you need more water, stick with the ratios mentioned above. Discard any unused salt water.
Quickly bring the salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and gently cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, prepare the butter sauce. Add the egg yolks and cold water to a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Whisk until blended. Cook, whisking constantly, over very low heat. Add a pat of butter and whisk continuously until melted, then add another. Repeat until all the butter is incorporated and the mixture is slightly thickened. If it starts to become too thick or "scrambles," remove the pan from the heat and add a few drops of cold water. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.
Pour the butter sauce into a small serving bowl and keep warm over hot, but not boiling water.
To serve, gently lift the salmon from the water. Remove the skin and plate the salmon. Serve with fresh greens, watercress or parsley. Drizzle with the Irish butter sauce and serve.
Recipe adapted from Irish Traditional Cooking.
Here are a few more authentic Irish recipes you may enjoy:
- Spinach Tarts, an Irish Recipe ~ from Saving Room for Dessert
- Potato Yeast Rolls ~ from Donal Skehan
- Skillet-Roasted Lamb Loins with Herbs ~ from Food & Wine
- Irish Bacon & Cabbage ~ Food Recipes from Ireland
There you have it! Irish cooking doesn’t have to be difficult, or include hard to find ingredients. Thanks so much for stopping by!