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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.55 / 5 (51 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
5 min, plus cooling

James Martin's whole salmon makes an impressive centre piece for any celebration


1. Put the salmon in a fish kettle or large roasting tin. Pour over enough cold water to cover the fish. Add the onion, bay leaves, vinegar, lemon, a good pinch of salt and a few twists of black pepper.

2. Cover with a lid or tin foil and bring to the boil on the stove. Once boiling, turn off the heat and leave to stand in the water until cool. It will cook in the residual heat.

3. Carefully remove the salmon and transfer to a chopping board. Scrape off the skin and put onto a large flat serving dish. Serve with mayonnaise, dill and lemon wedges.


  • 1 x 2.5 kg whole wild salmon, cleaned with head kept on
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • mayonnaise, to serve
  • 1 small bunches dill, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve

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Latest Comment


This recipe is for a whole salmon, rather than fillets - if you would like to make salmon fillets for two or more, you might like to take a look at our top 10 salmon recipes for more ideas - [link]

We hope you enjoy them!

Anna -Good Food Anna -Good Food  Posted 18 Jul 2012 11:07 AM

Can two whole fillets of salmon be put together and cooked as a whole wrapped in cling film?

BettyM90680 BettyM90680  Posted 24 May 2012 3:26 PM

Excellent receipe & very easy to make, Best Poached Salmon i can rememeber... Everyone loved it & it goes brilliantly with a Pinot Noir. Cooked like this the Salmon just "melts" in your mouth. Awesome! & Thnaks for a great receipe too...

PtolS13945 PtolS13945  Posted 02 May 2010 1:14 PM