How to Decorate Poached Salmon

by Susan Lundman

Poaching whole salmon, fillets or steaks allows the delicate, flavorful fish to shine. Decorations turn plain poached salmon into a more attractive dish, whether you add a simple garnish to fillets or steaks or choose more elaborate decorations for the whole fish to serve on a buffet table at a special holiday dinner. Whatever decorations you use, allow some of the salmon's beautiful color to show through your handiwork.

The Whole Enchilada

Peel a cucumber and slice it into very thin slices to lay over a whole salmon, overlapping the slices to resemble fish scales. Intersperse the slices with edible flowers, such as pansies, Johnny jump-ups, calendula and rose petals for a visual extravaganza.

Use only one or two rows of thinly sliced cucumbers running the length of the salmon, and complete the decorations by sprinkling chopped fresh herbs, such as dill and chives, over the entire fish.

Drizzle a cucumber yogurt sauce over the salmon and place large carved vegetable flowers around the edges of the serving platter and smaller flowers here and there on the salmon.

Decorations For One and All

Lay two thinly sliced, overlapping cucumber or lemon slices over the top of a salmon fillet or steak. Tuck dill springs under the slices or place a bunch to one side of the salmon.

Drizzle a bright parsley sauce over the salmon and top with grape tomatoes and a sprig of parsley.

Pour a cucumber yogurt sauce over salmon pieces and sprinkle a medley of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives and dill, over the top. Lay long chive stems diagonally across the fillets or steaks, with the chives sliced lengthwise as narrowly as possible.

Top each salmon piece with a bit of salad made with small lettuce pieces and edible flower petals. Choose lettuce with interesting textures or colors, such as feathery chicory, small watercress leaves and red oakleaf lettuce.

Items you will need

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Cucumber
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Edible flowers
  • Cucumber and yogurt sauce
  • Carved vegetable flowers
  • Dill, chive and parsley sprigs
  • Parsley sauce
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Lettuce assortment


  • Thoroughly wash all vegetables, herbs and flowers under running water and pat them dry before peeling or slicing.
  • Poach whole salmon by wrapping it in heavy tin foil along with some liquids and letting it steam, or poach, in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as 2 hours.
  • Use thinly sliced lemons instead of cucumbers to lay over a whole salmon.


  • Use edible flowers from a source you know that has not been sprayed with pesticides.

About the Author

Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of cooking, gardening, entertaining and recreation after working for a nonprofit agency, writing grants and researching child development issues. She has written professionally for six years since then. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images