Wild Alaskan Salmon Poached In Vinho Verde with Garlic Scapes

Credits: Craig Thiebaud

When you have a beautiful piece of fish, you really don’t need to do a whole lot to it.  Rather, restraint is really the rule of the day so that the subtle flavors really shine.  As such, poaching is a great way to cook a special piece of fish.  There’s no browning, crisping the skin, etc.  It’s just a very simple and fairly quick way to prepare the fish, imparting slight flavors from the poaching liquid but really still keeping things simple.  Here, I chose to poach the salmon in a Vinho Verde and I chose it for a couple of reasons.  First, this type of Portuguese wine is relatively inexpensive, which makes it a great choice to use as a cooking wine.  Secondly, it is a young wine that doesn’t have too much complexity in terms of taste.  It just has a nice straight forward taste that has nice acidity.  It’s easy to drink and, when cooking it adds just enough flavor to a dish without completely overpowering the dish. 

Garlic scapes, also called garlic shoots, are pretty great.  They look interesting in that they are bright green and have a curly shape.  They possess a garlic flavor that I think is slightly less dramatic than regular garlic cloves.  Scapes can be found right around this time and for a few more weeks moving forward at farmer’s markets and certain specialty stores.  Here, I kept them whole but you can chop them up as finely or as coarsely as you like and you use them just as you would a regular clove of garlic.  Since they are only available for a few weeks, if you find them, I’d suggest stocking up…they freeze pretty well!


Sign Up for E-News

1 Large fillet of Alaskan Salmon (Alaskan King Salmon is pictured)

1-2 Bottles Vinho Verde

Water as necessary

4 Fresh bay leaves

5 Whole black peppercorns

10 Coriander seeds

1 Clove

4-5 Scapes (left whole or chopped)

Flaky sea salt for finishing


  • Pour Vinho Verde into a large pan or poaching pan.  Place the fish fillet in the wine to see if the wine covers the fillet.  If so, remove the fillet.  If you feel you need a lot more liquid to cover the fish, use another bottle of the Vinho Verde.  If, you feel you need just a little bit, add water (filtered would be best) as necessary to cover the fish.  Remove the fish from the liquid and set aside.
  • Turn on the heat to medium and allow the liquid to slowly heat up.  Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and scapes to the liquid while it is heating up. 
  • When the liquid begins to just start creating bubbles, carefully add the fish to the pan being careful to avoid splashing the wine as it will catch on fire if you are using a gas flame. 
  • Once the fish is in the liquid, cook for 7 minutes (time it).  At that point, check the fish for doneness.  If the liquid begins to heat up to the point of bubbling again, reduce the heat.  The fish should be slowly cooked in liquid rather than boiled.  If you are cooking a smaller fillet, your fish may be done.  If so remove it from the liquid (carefully again).  If not, cook another 3-5 minutes.  (I cooked mine a total of 10 minutes which yielded a nice medium rare interior.  Cook yours longer as necessary if you prefer your fish cooked completely through). 
  • Once the fish is finished cooking, carefully remove the fillet(s) and place on a platter.  Scrape off any peppercorns, seeds, etc. that may be stuck to the fish.  Remove the scapes from the cooking liquid and place on the platter on and around the fillets.
  • Carefully sprinkle just a touch of good flaky sea salt over the fish fillets to finish.

Serve the fish while hot/warm.  I would suggest pairing the poached fish with simple wilted greens seasoned simply with salt and pepper.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

May 20, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Join the Fight, Morris: Water + 7 Days = Mosquitoes

May 23, 2018

With the sun finally expected to show itself starting tomorrow and over the Memorial Day weekend, Morris County residents can reduce the number of all mosquitoes, including the aggressive Asian Tiger variety, in their own backyards by taking action now.

The ankle-attacking, aggressive Asian Tiger variety transmits viral disease and bites all day long, unlike many other varieties that come out ...

May is Older Americans Month: Time to Give Back to Morris County’s Seniors Every Day!

May 23, 2018

The June 5th Primary has entered the home stretch.  For the first time in 8 weeks, there is no where I need to appear other than at the doorstep of a registered voter to ask for their support in the election booth.

Since I decided to pursue the open Freeholder seat in March, I have been all across Morris County.  I have been out and away from my family every day since, attending such ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...