Poaching Seafood

Poaching Seafood

  • Poaching means very GENTLE cooking. Temperature range (75-85 C). The high temperatures in boiling or simmering cause the proteins in the fish to tighten and go tough.
  • Use poaching principles to make soups.
  • You need enough poaching liquid eg a court bouillon to cover the seafood. Simple poaching liquid ideas below.
  • Don’t over cook. Seafood keeps on cooking after you take from the pan.
  • If the seafood is to be served cold, it should be covered to retain moisture and flavour, and then placed in fridge for an hour or even overnight.
  • A fish kettle is ideal for poaching large whole fish.
Poaching liquid

To make a quick simple Court Bouillon (as in the video), add to water onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, parsley or mint squeeze of lemon or lime and simmer for 10 minutes. Reduce heat before adding seafood.
You can also use plain or salted water, fish or chicken stock, wine, cider or milk. Milk is very good for strongly flavoured, smoked or salted seafood, as it helps to break down a salty or strong fish flavour.

Suggested species

Finfish: Atlantic Salmon, Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Redspotted Emperor, Redthroat Emperor, Spangled Emperor, Snapper, Silver Perch, Garfish, Leatherjacket, Saddletail Snapper, Moses Snapper, Crimson Snapper, Shark, Snapper, Goldband Snapper, Ruby Snapper, West Australian Dhufish, Whiting
Other species: Prawns, Lobster, Crab Scallop, Abalone, Marron, Yabbies, Mussels, and Moreten Bay Bugs.

Cooking Times Guide only:
  • Always watch and check.
  • Finfish cooked when it flakes easily and has lost its opaque look.
 Approximate cooking times

Gutted and Gill Whole fish
3.5 – 4.5kg
3 kg
2 kg
1 kg
500 gms  

30 Minutes
20 Minutes
15 Minutes
10 Minutes
5   Minutes
Finfish Fillets by thickness
5-8 Minutes
5    Minutes
3    Minutes
Prawns 1-2 Minutes
Scallop 30 seconds
1-2 Minutes
Abalone (raw) 2-3 Minutes
Crab / Rocklobster 3-5 Minutes