Dishwasher Poached Salmon Is Dazzingly Easy Recipe for Whole Fish

Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: Back in the ‘70s, The Times printed a delightful and delicious recipe for cooking a whole salmon in a dishwasher. I’ve lost my copy (actually I lost custody of it to my former husband). I’d love for you to reprint it. You’d be surprised how many people don’t believe it is a valid recipe. They think I lost my mind, not the recipe.


Dear Mary: No, you didn’t lose your mind. The recipe first came to our attention when it was demonstrated by a Department of Water and Power home economist. It’s been a dazzler ever since. Actually, the method works better and the whole fish is easier to handle than poaching it in liquid. Nutrients are probably better preserved by the dishwasher method, as well.

You should, however, give your dishwasher and filter a complete cleansing to remove any dirt particles and soapy residue before cooking any food. Salmon or any other whole fish may be used. Other foods also can be cooked by this method.


1 whole salmon or other fish, cleaned and dressed

Salt, pepper

2 sprigs dill, 1 teaspoon dried dill weed or 1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves

1 sprig parsley

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small onion, grated or thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves

1 lemon, thinly sliced


1 cup dry white wine

Mustard Dill sauce

Place whole salmon or other fish no larger than width of dishwasher interior on 2 thicknesses of heavy-duty foil large enough to double-fold on all sides. Sprinkle fish on all sides and in cavity with salt and pepper. Place dill and parsley sprig inside or on top of fish. Scatter carrot, onion, celery leaves, lemon slices and a few peppercorns over fish. Pour wine over fish. Carefully fold foil loosely over fish, leaving some air space (make sure it is double-folded and double-sealed so it will be airtight as well as watertight). Seal with masking tape, if necessary, to prevent from opening during cooking.


Meanwhile, run empty dishwasher through short cycle to remove any soapy residue and dirt particles, and clean appliance and filter thoroughly before placing fish inside. Prepare shelf in dishwasher to hold salmon packet by removing or folding over any plate or cup holders. Place salmon on shelf, making sure no wire can tear into the foil. Run fish through full cycle. Check fish for doneness by opening the foil packet slightly and testing fish with fork. If fish is opaque and tastes done, it is ready. If not, reseal and reset dishwasher on rinse cycle, checking at halfway point for doneness. (Be sure to reseal foil completely using fresh masking tape if necessary to prevent water seepage.)

When fish is done, carefully remove from dishwasher, using baking sheet or platter long enough to hold fish without bending or breaking it. Carefully remove foil and drain liquid to reserve for broths, soups or stews. Slide fish onto large serving platter. Remove wilted vegetables and rearrange lemon slices to overlap fish. Other decorations, such as fresh sprigs of dill may be used. Serve with Mustard-Dill Sauce or any other desired sauce.

Mustard-Dill Sauce

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 tablespoon chopped green onion

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup half and half

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1/8 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash white pepper

2 tablespoons chopped pimiento

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Melt butter in small saucepan. Add green onion and cook gently just until tender. Stir in flour. Blend in half and half, mustard, dill weed, salt and pepper. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture thickens. Do not boil. Add pimiento and lemon juice. Serve over fish. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Dear SOS: Recently my sister and I had lunch at Bullocks Wilshire, and they served the most delicious Heavenly Lemon Pie with a cookie crust. Would it be possible to print it?


Dear Eleanor: We have printed the recipe for Bullock’s Heavenly Lemon Pie--with meringue crust, however--for years.


4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

Grated peel and juice of 1 large lemon

2 cups whipping cream, whipped

Meringue Crust

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Beat egg yolks with sugar, lemon peel and juice until light. Cook and stir in double boiler over boiling water until thickened. Remove from heat and cool thoroughly. Fold in half whipped cream. Turn into Meringue Crust and refrigerate at least 2 hours to set. Top with remaining whipped cream, which has been sweetened with powdered sugar. Makes 8 servings.

Meringue Crust

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Butter or margarine

Beat egg whites until stiff and glossy. Do not under beat. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add juice last. Butter 9-inch pie plate generously. Spoon meringue mixture into pan and use tablespoon to push up mixture, forming sides and bottom of crust. Bake at 200 degrees 2 hours. Cool.

Dear SOS: I have been searching for a simple yet good-tasting recipe for Beef Jerky. The only one I’ve found to date requires a smoker.


Dear B.W.B.: Here’s a tasty jerky using the gas pilot flame for drying.


3 pounds lean beef

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

Cut beef into strips about 1 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick. Mix salt, onion and garlic powders, pepper, Worcestershire and soy sauce. Pour over meat strips. Marinate overnight in refrigerator. Drain and pat dry in paper towels. Arrange on baking sheet and place in oven until quite dry (in gas oven, heat from pilot flame will dry jerky in about 4 days). Store in plastic bag or covered jar.

Dear SOS: I would be most grateful if you would oblige and send me the recipe for a really good moist chocolate cake with the correct filling to be used for the layers.


Dear Barbara: How about Abby’s Fabulous Chocolate Cake from the columnist of “Dear Abby”?


4 squares unsweetened chocolate

Butter or margarine

1 cup water

2 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Fluffy White Frosting

Combine 3 squares chocolate, 1/2 cup butter and water in top of double boiler. Heat over simmering water until chocolate and butter melt. Remove from heat. Cool. Sift flour, soda and salt into large bowl. Beat eggs with sour cream until blended in medium-size bowl. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture. Beat into flour mixture, half at a time, just until smooth. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into 2 greased and floured round 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees 40 minutes or until center springs back with lightly pressed with finger tip. Cool in pans on wire racks. Loosen edges with knife and turn out onto racks. Stack cakes, frosting between layers, using one quarter of the frosting. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting, making deep swirls with spatula.

If chocolate drizzle is desired, melt remaining 1 square chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in cup set in hot water. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake, letting mixture drip down sides.

Fluffy White Frosting

2 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Dash salt

2 1/2 teaspoons cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, salt and water in top of large double boiler. Beat until blended. Place top over simmering water. Cook, beating constantly with electric or rotary beater, about 7 minutes, or until mixture stands in firm peaks. Remove from water. Stir in vanilla.

Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.