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Whole Salmon Baked in Foil with Tarragon

Showcase a whole salmon with this delicious recipe. This baked salmon makes a brilliant centrepiece for at a dinner party.

From the book


Tarragon has a great affinity with salmon, and here I’ve used plenty. Boiled new potatoes go very well with this.

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50g butter, melted
1 x 1.5kg salmon, cleaned and trimmed
1 small bunch tarragon, roughly chopped
120ml dry white wine
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the beurre blanc:
50g shallots, or onion, very finely chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp dry white wine
6 tbsp water or Fish stock
2 tbsp double cream
175g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Essential kit

You will need a thermometer.


To make the beurre blanc:

Put the shallots, vinegar, wine and water or stock into a small pan and simmer until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Strain off the shallots if you prefer, though I like to keep them in the sauce. Add the cream and boil until reduced a little more. Lower the heat and gradually whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until amalgamated. Season to taste.

For the salmon:

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Brush the centre of a large sheet of foil with some of the melted butter. Place the salmon in the centre and bring the edges of the foil up around the fish slightly. Put the open parcel on to a large baking sheet.

Mix the tarragon with the rest of the melted butter, plus the wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the cavity of the fish and over the top. Bring the sides of the foil up over the fish and pinch together, folding over the edges a few times to make a loose airtight parcel. Bake for 20–25 minutes.
Ideally, use a thermometer and take it out of the oven when the core temperature reaches 55°C.

Remove the fish from the oven and open up the parcel. If you wish, remove the skin as follows: cut through the skin just behind the head and above the tail and lift it off. Carefully turn the fish over and repeat on the other side. Lift the salmon on to a warmed serving dish and serve with the beurre blanc.


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From the book: Rick Stein’s Fish & Shellfish

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