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Poached Salmon, Grains, Grapefruit, and Chile – Tyler Florence Style

Close Up Poached Salmon, Grapefruit, Grains, and Chile
Photo by This Is Yu

Look no further for a special occasion dinner. Poached Salmon, Grains, Grapefruit and Chile is a visually appealing course that’s fresh, healthy, and full of bright flavors and textures. With tender salmon and citrus overtones, your tastebuds will be super happy! 

So, this is uber exciting! We interviewed acclaimed chef, Tyler Florence, of Food Network fame on This Is Yu Podcast. Check out his amazing accomplishments here on the podcast page.

Here’s how to make Tyler’s Delicious Poached Salmon, Grapefruit, Grains, and Chile recipe from this “Tyler Florence Fresh” cookbook. Listen in on Apple Podcasts as we munch down and review the finished dish here.

Thanks to Tyler for giving us permission to use his recipe on the Blog. Scroll on down to check it out! Find some easy substitutions in the recipe too!

Reasons This Poached Salmon is Amazing

  • Healthy
  • Super Tasty
  • High protein
  • Creamy
  • Spicy
  • Acidic
  • Lots of good fats
Detail Photo by This Is Yu

Fish with Citrus and Heat

Fish with Citrus is always a fantastic way to go. It is a delicate protein that really benefits from pairing with acidity, or spiciness. For these elements, Tyler adds citrus and chile.  The citrus I would have expected would have been lemon. I mean, how often do you see a wedge of lemon next to a piece of fish? But, surprise! 

Instead, Tyler uses grapefruit, which adds complexity to the Poached Salmon, Grapefruit, Grains, and Chile. Grapefruit can be sweeter than lemon, and gives a lot more juice.

Shot on the This Is Yu Photogram Surfaces (TM) "Sultan of Swing"

Also, the recipe calls for Jimmy Nardello Peppers, a specialty item, for the sweetness, and pops of bright color. As a substitute, use a red jalapeno, and a quarter of a red pepper.  Roast both on the open flame, peel them, and then combine in the blender.

Segmenting the Grapefruit

Here’s how to segment a grapefruit. First, slice a little off the top and bottom of the grapefruit so that it can rest on flat edges and give you a stable cutting surface.  Then, use the front of your knife, start at the top and slice downwards following the curve of the piece of fruit.  Next, cut away all the skin and pith, trying not to remove any flesh. 

 Finally, use the knife to gently slice between one of the segments and the connective membrane. Cut until you reach the middle of the fruit, while not piercing the membrane.  Then, repeat on the other side of the segment and lift out from the center until it’s completely released. Finish all segments.

How to Segment a Grapefruit
A Segmented Grapefruit - Photo by This Is Yu

Simple to Make Steps

  • Easy homemade Grapefruit Mayo
  • Make the Grains (I substituted Farro, for the Wheat Berries and Israeli Couscous for the Couscous)
  • Poach the Salmon
  • Segment the Grapefruit
  • Make the Sauce
  • Plate the Dish Up – Be the Star!

And there it is! The recipe is straight forward. Each step is simple. The plating is the star.  I followed the photo in Tyler’s cookbook, and this is what we came up with! Stellar

Close Up Poached Salmon, Grapefruit, Grains, and Chile
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Poached Salmon, Grains, Grapefruit, and Chile

Tyler Florence's recipe from the "Tyler Florence Fresh" cookbook
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Family Dinner, Fresh, Salmon, Stunning
Servings: 4
Calories: 961kcal
Author: Carole Yu



Grapefruit Mayo

  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh
  • 1 tsp grapefruit zest grated
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil


  • 1 cup wheat berries rinsed
  • 3 lemongrass stalks trimmed to 5 inches and smashed
  • ½ cup red quinoa
  • ½ cup white quinoa
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup couscous
  • ¼ cup grapefruit juice fresh
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 2 (6-inch) lemongrass stalks, bashed
  • 2 (12-oz) boness, skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 grapefruits
  • Fleur de sel
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted Jimmy Nardello peppers crushed to a pulp with a mortar and pestle and a little oilive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh fennel fronds
  • Fresh thyme


Make the grapefruit mayo

  • In a blender, combine the egg whites, mustard, lemon juice, grapefruit zest, salt, and sugar. Blend until combined. With the blender running, add the grapeseed oil in a slow, steady stream so the mixture emulsifies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook the grains

  • Place the wheat berries in a pot with 2 cups of water and 1 lemongrass stalk. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, until the grains are tender and chewy. Drain and set aside.
  • Place the red and white quinoa in a saucepan and add 2 cups of water and another lemongrass stalk. Season with salt. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 17 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Place the couscous in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Combine ⅔ cup of water with the third lemongrass stalk in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then pour the hot water and lemongrass over the couscous. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Discard all 3 lemongrass stalks, and add the wheat berries and quinoa to the couscous in the mixing bowl,. Dress with the grapefruit juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Steam the salmon

  • Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water and set over high heat. Place a steamer basket inside and lay the 2 bashed lemongrass stalks on the basket. Arrange the salmon fillets across the lemongrass. Reduce the heat so the water is simmering gently. Cover the pot with a lid or foil to trap the steam, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the salmon is palke pink all over. Transfer the salmon to a plate and chill in the fridge. Once cooled, flake the salmon into large pieces.

Prepare the citrus

  • use a sharp knife to slice off the rind and pith from the grapefruit. Cut between the membranes to free the grapefruit segments.
  • Serve the cooled salmon over the mixed grains, garnished with the grapefruit segments and grapefruit mayo. Season with Fleur de sel and garnish with the peppers, basil, fennel fronds, and thyme.


I did not have wheat berries or couscous at home.  But, I did have farro, and Israeli couscous which made great substitutions. I followed package instructions as to how to cook them.
Jimmy Nardello peppers are a specialty item.  It seems that the recipe uses them for color and taste.  I switched out and grabbed a gorgeous red jalapeno that didn't have an excessive amount of heat, and used a quarter of a large red pepper.  I roasted them over the open flame of the stove till the skins were black.  I scraped off the blackened skin, and then threw them both in the food processor.  PERFECT! A little heat and pop of color to round out the visual of the dish! YUM!


Calories: 961kcal

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