Norwegian Poached Salmon

>> Friday, November 2, 2012

Joe, being true to his Norwegian roots, loves salmon and every other type of seafood he's ever tried. I'm a little more picky about strong-tasting seafood. I have heard the saying that you have to try something seven times (or twenty or thirty or whatever) before you develop a taste for it, but even though I tasted bits of Joe's salmon whenever he ordered it, I could never get past the strong fishiness.

When I took a Humanities course in the United Kingdom, I developed a bad ear infection in Inverness, Scotland. Left behind by my classmates, I wandered around the deserted hotel and watched the staff take down holiday decorations.

Marriott hotel, Inverness, Scotland
Marriott hotel, Inverness, Scotland

At lunch, the waiter told me they'd just gotten salmon that was caught the day before in Norway. I decided to try their poached salmon recipe, and really liked it. If you have trouble eating salmon, you might just like it this way, even if your salmon fillet wasn't swimming in the Atlantic a few hours earlier.

Highway in Northern Scotland

That night, our Irish bus driver attempted to heal me by ordering me a hot toddy of Highlands whiskey, hot water, lemon peel, and honey. I felt better until the next morning, when I made an appointment with a local doctor and got a prescription for antibiotics. Their public health system was top-notch. 

The Scots told me this is an authentic Norwegian staple recipe.You can skip the drizzle of melted butter if you're watching your fat intake.


2 tsp fresh dill
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp anchovy paste
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine
1 bay leaf
4 4-6 oz. Norwegian salmon fillets
2 tbsp melted butter
salt and pepper to taste


Whisk together the dill, cream, anchovy paste, broth, and vinegar. Lay the salmon in a large skillet and pour the sauce over the fish. Break the bay leaf in half and lay it in the sauce. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat, and let it steam for 15 minutes, or until the fish is flaky when poked with a fork. 

Remove the bay leaf. Put the fish and sauce on a serving plate. Drizzle the melted butter over the fillets, and sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving. 

This is really good with Mushroom and Pine Nut Wild Rice Pilaf.

Serves 4.


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