I know some (ok fine, most) of these sous vide recipes aren't easily recreated at home unless you either have a sous vide machine or have cobbled together a reasonable approximation of one. This one is different. You can make this at home with nothing more complicated than a ziploc bag, a big pot, and a candy thermometer (or a similar large thermometer).
One of my only complaints about my sous vide machine is that the manual has fairly ridiculous cooking temperatures and times in it. When I decided to make sous vide salmon, I looked around a bit on the internet to find a consensus, and I'm glad I did or I would have cooked this about 20 degrees hotter and for about 20 minutes longer than I needed to. I ended up basing my times on this recipe from The (Baltimore) Sun. The salmon was absolutely amazing and it only took 15 minutes to cook! I've already made this twice and I'll definitely be making it again.
Sous Vide Salmon
- 2 boneless skinless salmon fillets, 5-8 ounces each
- Herbs of choice
- Brine the salmon in a salt water bath for about 10 minutes.
- Drain the salmon, pat dry, and season with salt, pepper and herbs.
- Seal each fillet in a vacuum bag (see notes).
- Bring water to 123-125F (it will cool down slightly when you add the salmon).
- Add salmon bags and cook for 15-18 minutes, keeping water as close to 120F as you can. Stir the water every minute or so to ensure even heat distribution and turn stove on and off as needed to keep temperature in the right place.
- Remove bags from water. Remove salmon from bags. Eat salmon!
I highly recommend Ziploc's vacuum bags. They're cheap and they work like a charm. However, if you don't want to spend the $3, you can use the technique from the article:
Submerge all but the top of the still-unsealed bag in a heavy pot of cool water. Work the remaining air bubbles out of the bag, taking care not to let any water leak inside, and then seal the bag. (If water does get inside, remove the fish and place it in a new bag. And don't feel bad - even Chef Erjavec was forced into a do-over.)
Make sure the thermometer you use to measure the temperature of the water doesn't touch the bottom of the pot or the salmon, or your numbers will be off.
You can sear the salmon over high heat in a little olive oil after removing from the bags if you want a nice pretty crust. I haven't been patient enough to try it yet though.