Poaching is an easy, flavor-packed way to prepare a flakey fish like Flounder, Grouper, Sea Bass, Drum – anything with light color and a flakey meat. Below, we’ve laid out some basics for poaching a fish.

You can poach fish in any kind of liquid. The most common practice is to poach fish in white wine. You can also do an Asian-inspired broth with coconut, basil, and ginger. You can even poach fish in olive oil.

As with any cooking technique, the key is not to overcook the fish. Remember that your fish will continue cooking after being removed from the pan from residual heat. You may find that poaching for 4-8 minutes per inch thickness is enough, especially if you’re going to have the fish kept warm under foil for a bit after cooking.


In a non-reactive skillet or dutch oven, build a soup/sauce that has enough liquid to almost cover your fillet.

Bring this liquid to a boil and then back down to simmer.

Once it is simmering, lay your fillets skin down in the liquid. Let it sit for 10 minutes per 1 inch thickness watching carefully so that it does not boil. If you are unsure you can lift a corner of the fillet from the skin. When the fish easily separates from the skin it is done.

Remove the fillets to a serving platter and serve immediately. You can serve the remaining poaching sauce in a gravy boat for your guests to spoon onto the fish to his or her taste.