Belgium Poached Fish with Vegetables Recipe

Serves/Makes: 6 - 8 servings


  • 3 pound total boneless, skinless, and filleted fish (hake, brill, halibut or sole)
  • 1/2 pound eels or 1 pint mussels
  • A few mushrooms
  • 1/2 ounce butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 a head of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • Several parsley roots
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • About 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • A sprig of thyme
  • A little flour
How to cook Belgium Poached Fish with Vegetables:
  • Prepare the fish, scaling and filleting it as required, and wash it in cold water. Prepare the vegetables and cut up finely, as for a Julienne garnish.
  • Butter a fireproof dish or a saucepan, put in the vegetables, and cover with greaseproof paper and the lid. Put in a hot oven (450°F) for 2 minutes and then turn the heat to very low; allow the vegetables 15 minutes in all, or until they change color, but do not let them become brown; stir occasionally.
  • Wash the parsley roots and put them in cold water with the fish bones; add the bay leaves and thyme, bring to the boil, and simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • Cut the fish in 2-inch pieces, grease a fairly deep fireproof dish, put in the fish, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with seasoning, add the lemon juice, and poach in a moderately hot oven (400°F) until the fish starts to boil - 7 - 10 minutes.
  • If the vegetables are in a dish, transfer to a saucepan. Strain the fish bone liquor over them. If eels are used, cut into 2-inch pieces, put into 1 cup of boiling salted water and simmer 10 - 15 minutes.
  • If mussels are used, wash and clean them, put in a pan with a stick of celery and a sliced onion, and toss over a brisk heat until the shells open.
  • Add the eel or mussel liquor to the vegetables and boil gently, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender - 15 - 20 minutes. Meanwhile take the mussels from their shells and remove the beard and "core".
  • As soon as the fish is cooked, take it from the oven, add the cooked eels or prepared mussels and keep hot. Beat the egg yolk, add the milk and sufficient flour to bind, pour over the vegetables, stir in well and bring to the boil; pour this sauce over the fish and serve at once.


The Belgian name of this recipe is Waterzooi. The Poached Fish with Vegetables is traditional and famous Belgian dish. It’s origin in the East or West Flanders region of Belgium determines whether it’s made with fish or chicken.

How to clean Eel:

Wash Eel thoroughly up to half an hour in cold clean water, followed by very careful scraping, may be necessary to remove final traces of slime. Gut the washed eels, taking care to slit the belly 1 inch or so beyond the vent in order to remove the kidney; scrub the gut cavity and wash it out carefully to remove all traces of blood from the backbone and throat, and then rinse the eels again.

This recipe for Belgium Poached Fish with Vegetables serves/makes: 6 - 8 servings

The Belgium Poached Fish with Vegetables recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Seafood Mix (more Seafood Mix recipes)
Preparation Method: Poached/Simmered (more Poached/Simmered recipes)
Cuisine: Belgian (more Belgian recipes)

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