Even more fish cookery, sous-vide salmon

Sorry, no picture of this one, but wanted to do this post as a follow-up to the pan-roast method.  I may have fibbed in that one stating that pan-roasting was the easiest method.  It’s not, this is because it really is fool-proof and you don’t need any unusual equipment.

As you may recall from previous posts, “sous-vide” is a French term that literally translated means “under pressure”.  Food is sealed airtight in some sort of bag and cooked in a water bath at the desired temperature of the finished product resulting in perfectly cooked – whatever.  For short applications, there is no need for fancy thermal immersion circulators or even the contraption that I’ve posted on previously.

Equipment: range, cast iron enamel pot (optional, but use the pot that holds temperature the best), water, zip-lock bag, protein.

Last night cooked some salmon fillets (skinless for sous vide) that Jennifer had marinated in white miso paste, soy, rice wine, ginger & sesame oil (see Food Network Bobby Flay).  I simply removed the salmon scraping off excess marinade and placed in a gallon-sized zip-lock bag removing any air using a straw.   Next, I heated water on the stove-top to 125 degrees, then dropped in the fish for 15 minutes.  I removed the fish, patted off any remaining marinade and seared in a non-stick skillet with a little grape seed oil for about 2 minutes on the presentation side only and served over fresh polenta and red pepper puree.  It was wonderful.

Important notes: 1) Will need to be very careful with the fish, it will come out of the bag fully cooked but looking raw and will literally fall a part if not handled carefully. 2) I monitored the temperature of the water bath with a laser thermometer (any kitchen thermometer will work), and the temp only dropped by 5 degrees over the 15 minutes.  Most published sous vide salmon temperatures are from 45 to 50 C or 113 to 122 F for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes.  If you need to raise the temp, add some hot tap water.  The temperature of that should be 120 to 140 degrees.  Mine is about 130 in the kitchen.  If you overshoot, don’t panic, add a couple of ice cubes.

Please give this a try!  I see no reason to EVER poach fish given how easy it is to do this.  Even the best poaching liquid “court bouillon” will result in a watered out protein.  Post follow-up to share your experiences.


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