Spring Recipe: Chinese Tea Poached Salmon

Our Culinary team has really outdone themselves with this show stopper.  At the recent unveiling of our new Spring and Summer menu items, our Chinese Tea Poached Salmon was one of our sales team’s favourite new dishes.

It’s served cold on a bed of refreshing glass noodles and features the fresh flavours of edamame, ginger and tamarind. In order to achieve a layered flavour profile, we used Lapsang Souchong tea as our poaching liquid. Lapsang Souchong derives it’s sultry flavour from the pinewood on which it is smoke-dried and if Wikipedia is to be believed, it was one of Winston Churchill’s favourite beverages. We found that the tea’s classic, smoky aroma infuses perfectly with the tamarind glaze.

We prefer to sous vide our salmon, but it is just as easy to brine and poach it at home.  This dish is endlessly versatile – it can be served as an appetizer, main course or even family style, making it the perfect match for any occasion.


4 6oz filets of wild salmon

Brine (optional)
1 ½ cup kosher salt
1 qt water

Poaching Liquid
½ dry white wine
½ cup water
2 tsp Lapsang Souchong tea leaves

Tamarind Dressing
2 tbsp minced ginger
juice of 4 limes
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
a few dashes of hot sauce (Sriracha works well)

7oz glass noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 garlic cloves, minced
2 ½ shelled, cooked edamame
4 green onions, sliced
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp mint, chopped
3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
salt to taste


Preparing the brine (optional first step): Bring water and salt to a boil until salt is dissolved. Chill mixture until it is very cold. Brine salmon in liquid for 20 minutes. While you can omit the brine, it does give the salmon a vibrant pink colour and inhibits the secretion of the white albumen in the cooking process later. If you brine the salmon, do not add any additional salt to the poaching liquid.

Poaching the salmon: Heat wine and water over medium high heat in a large enough to pan to hold all salmon filets in one single layer. Once the liquid comes to a slow boil, add the tea leaves and then slowly slide in the salmon filets. Keep the liquid at a simmer and poach the salmon until the flesh is firm, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Making the tamarind glaze and dressing: Whisk together the minced ginger, lime juice, vegetable oil, sugar, tamarind paste, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Add hot sauce to taste.

Making the noodles: Soak glass noodles in hot water for 5 minutes, drain. Or follow package instructions. Heat vegetable oil in frying pan over medium heat and add garlic. Cook until golden. Add dressing (reserved 4 tbsp for presentation) and noodles and stir together. Add edamame, green onions, cilantro and mint. Warm through and add salt to taste. Can be served room temperature or chilled.

When ready to plate: Top noodles with salmon filets and drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro leaves.

Have any questions, or want to leave the hard work to our chefs? Email or call us: 416-968-9275!

Guillaume ClairetSpring Recipe: Chinese Tea Poached Salmon