Salmon Poached on a Bed of Tomatillos, Onion, and Chilli

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 5

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

A spectacular and simple dish: Unctuous peachy salmon is set off by a sprightly, tart, muted-green sauce—and plenty of it (if any remains, enjoy on grainy bread with fresh goat cheese). Rice brightened with corn kernels and red bell pepper is a good complement.


  • 2 pounds tomatillos
  • 3 tablespoons full-flavored olive oil
  • 2 small fresh chillis, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup minced green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pepper
  • 2 pounds salmon fillets with skin, 1 to 1½ inches thick
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons snipped fresh dill


    1. Tear tomatillo husks and pull off toward stem end, twisting to remove both husk and stem. Rinse fruit. Chop coarsely.
    2. Warm 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat in heavy non-aluminum sauté pan or shallow flameproof casserole that will hold fillets in a single layer. Add chillis and garlic and stir a minute. Add onions and green pepper; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillos, salt, and sugar. Cook, stirring often, until most liquid evaporates—about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
    3. Set salmon on sauce, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cover. Cook very gently, shaking every now and then, until fish is just barely cooked through—about 15 to 20 minutes.
    4. Gently turn over salmon with spatula. Remove skin. Coat with minced dill. Serve hot from the pan.