Poached Snapper with Tomato and Herb Broth

Preparation info

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Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Serve the fish in shallow soup bowls in the broth, which is delicately flavored with ginger, orange, and thyme. This makes a light main course for four. For a first course, use only two fillets, cutting each one in half.


  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 thick slice onion
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised
  • 1 slice (Ā¼ inch) ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig or pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 strip (2 Ɨ Ā½ inch) orange zest
  • 4 red snapper, sea bass, or sea trout fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • ā…“ cup drained, seeded, and diced canned tomatoes
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, stripped from stems, for garnish (optional)


    1. Combine the wine, water, onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, thyme, and orange zest in a large skillet and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Lower the heat slightly and slip the fish fillets into the broth. Cover and cook over medium heat until the fish is opaque through to the center, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the fish to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.
    2. Strain the poaching liquid through a sieve and pour back into the skillet. Reserve the orange zest but discard the remaining solids. Bring broth to a boil. Boil, uncovered, until reduced to 1Ā¼ cups, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the reserved orange zest into julienne strips and set aside. 3. Add the tomatoes and orange strips to the broth. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Place the fish fillets in shallow soup bowls. Spoon the broth over the fish, distributing the tomato and orange zest evenly. Garnish with chives and fresh thyme leaves, if using, and serve.