Tomato Poached Fish Recipe

This tomato poached fish recipe with crispy shallots will quickly become your favorite fish recipe! Served on a bed of brothy couscous.

I’ve recently discovered Alison Roman and have become obsessed with her recipes. First I made her famous Stew recipe. And then I made it again that same week because it was so good.

Next I tried out a delicious salmon recipe with soy sauce & scallions from her new cookbook, Nothing Fancy. Then, her “Stew Two” recipe featuring spicy white beans and broccoli rabe. Which, once again was amazing.

And then, when I didn’t think her recipes could get any better, I tried this one – Tomato Poached Fish with Chile Oil & Herbs.


I made this recipe three times in one week. 

And today, I’m sharing this amazing, easy poached fish recipe with you, with a few tweaks that I made along the way.

Ingredients for tomato poached cod.

Changes I made to the original recipe:

  • Used additional oil while crisping up the shallots and garlic so that there was extra to drizzle over the cooked fish at the end. I also found that it took longer to brown the shallots and garlic than the original recipe stated.
  • Swapped in aleppo pepper for the red pepper flakes to add a bit more sweetness and extra level of flavor.
  • Omitted the mint and cut back on the amount of cilantro used for topping the cooked fish.
  • Used chicken stock in place of water when making the sauce to add in some extra flavor.
  • Served it all up on a bed of couscous. I found it to be the perfect serving vehicle that soaks up all that yummy tomato broth.

What kind of fish is best for poaching?

  • You can use almost any fish in this poached fish recipe. Cod, fluke, flounder, tilapia, halibut, salmon and trout are all great options. 

How do you poach fish?

  • Bring your poaching liquid (in this case, it’s the tomato broth) to a low simmer (not boiling) over medium-low heat, and cook the fish until it’s opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

How long do you poach fish for?

  • The time it takes for fish to poach will depend on its thickness. Thinner pieces of fish like tilapia or flounder will poach in about 4 minutes. Thicker pieces like cod or halibut, will cook in about 6 minutes.

How do you tell when poached fish is done?

  • Cook poached fish to a temperature of 140 degrees. Without a thermometer, you can test for doneness by seeing if it flakes easily with a fork and is opaque throughout.
Side view of poached fish in grey bowl served on a bed of couscous and topped with crispy shallots & garlic.

Wine pairings for tomato poached fish:

  • Sauvignon Blanc has a good acidity to it that will stand up to the tomatoes. Pinot Gris is a another white wine option.
  • Rosé
  • Good red wine options are Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

If you loved this homemade Tomato Poached Cod recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

More healthy seafood recipes

Tomato Poached Fish Recipe

Overhead shot of poached fish in grey bowl served on a bed of couscous and topped with crispy shallots & garlic.

Tomato Poached Fish with Garlic Oil & Lime

Poached Fish in Tomato Sauce with Garlic Oil & Lime will quickly become your favorite fish recipe! Served on a bed of brothy couscous and sprinkled with crispy shallots & garlic.
4.3 from 10 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 1 large shallot (thinly sliced into rings)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 ¼ pounds cod (cut into 4 equal pieces (salmon, flounder, tilapia and halibut also work))
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes (halved)


  • 2 cups israeli couscous
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken broth


  • Heat ⅓ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until they become golden, 10-12 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes and cook for a few seconds. Remove the oil to a small bowl.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring, until toasted and light golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add the broth, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
  • Using the same skillet, add 1 TBSP reserved chili oil and tomatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they become saucy, 5-6 minutes.
  • Add fish sauce and chicken broth. Cook 3 – 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper and place the pieces in the sauce. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, about 6 minutes (thinner pieces of fish like tilapia or flounder will take less time).
  • To serve, divide couscous between four bowls. Place a piece of fish on each and spoon over the tomato broth mixture. Sprinkle on the crispy shallots and garlic and drizzle with the chile oil. Squeeze half a lime over each bowl and sprinkle with cilantro. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Large Saucepan


Calories: 791kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1088mg | Potassium: 1228mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 837IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 3mg

8 thoughts on “Tomato Poached Fish Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    OMG this was tasty! Filling yet light. I burned my first batch of shallots and garlic (whoops) but am so glad I made a second batch. Forgot the lime at the end and didn’t really miss it. Even my toddler gobbled it up! This is going into the regular rotation. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner over the weekend. OMG it was so tasty! My toddler even gobbled it up and kept asking for more fish! I accidentally burned my first batch of shallots and garlic – maybe my burner is hot, but it definitely did not take me 10 minutes to get them golden. So glad I made a second batch, they add so much dimension. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this 4-5 times and each time everyone is surprised at how good it is. I love that i can pre make a lot of it and put it together quickly. This time i used cod vrs. Halibut. I love them both. We have fresh arugula from the garden . To compliment it i served “j” Pinot Gris to make it a great meal. You can’t go wrong if you are out impress.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.


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