Lemon Poached Salmon with Barley

By Chef Lara

With the holiday and the delicious gluttony behind us we are starting to look at ways to lighten up our dinners, but that does not mean we need to sacrifice flavor. Bursting with surprising flavor, this dish is light and packed with nutrients.


2 servings


6 ounces of fresh salmon, poached (or substitute shrimp)

1 lemon, juiced

1 cheesecloth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup hulled barley, soaked overnight*

1 cup reserved cooking liquid from the salmon plus 1/2 cups water OR use veggie/chicken broth (you will need a total of 1.5 cups liquid to cook the barley)

1/4 pound of mushroom, sliced

1/2 small onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup frozen artichokes (or veggie of your choice)

1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

*If you are using pearled barley skip the soaking step.



  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Wrap the fish in cheesecloth. Select a pot just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Pour lemon juice over the salmon and add a conservative amount of water to barely cover the fish. Cover with a tight fitting lid and over moderately low heat bring the liquid just to a simmer. Reduce heat to very low and cook the fish at below the simmering point until done. Cooking time is about 8 to 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. When cooked, the fish will feel firm and not mushy.
  • Drain and flake the salmon, reserving 1 cup of the liquid.
  • Using 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid from the salmon plus 1/2 cup of water (or veggie/chicken broth to come to the 1.5 cups of liquid) cook the barley.


  1. Over high heat, bring the soaked barley and water, uncovered, to a boil.
  2. Cover, and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Allow the grain to simmer for 45 minutes. Do not add salt until after it is cooked, since it can block absorption of water.


  • If you have not pre-soaked the hulled barley then increase the cooking time to 1 ½  to 2 hours
  • If you are using pearled barley simmer for ½ hour


  1. Once cooked, it will always retain some chewiness. You’ll know your boiled barley is done when 20 percent of them have burst open.


  • Sauté onions until transparent for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and artichokes, sauté quickly for about 2 minutes. Add salmon to heat then combine with barley and almonds. Salt and pepper to taste.

About My Chef Lara

My Chef Lara is comprised of three chefs who believe that wellness starts with the food we eat. Cooking and eating for your health is within everyone’s reach and we are here to educate people that they can achieve their wellness goals and still enjoy what they eat. For more information go to www.mycheflara.com or contact by email at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: