Sous Vide Salmon
Brining the salmon before cooking it sous vide will help inhibit the secretion of white protein, known as albumen, and will give the fish a vibrant pink color. Because the brine must be ice cold, the recipe calls for crushed ice. If brining the salmon, do not add additional salt when cooking.
For the brine:
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1 quart water
- 2 lb. ice, crushed
- 4 center-cut salmon fillets with medium fat content, each 6 oz. and 1 1/2 inches thick, pin bones removed, fish chilled
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt, to taste (if not brining salmon)
- Coarsely ground pepper, to taste
- Olive oil or clarified butter for searing (optional)
To prepare the brine, in a large container, combine the kosher salt, water and ice and stir to dissolve the salt. Add the salmon and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remove the salmon from the brine and rise with cold water.
Set the Sous Vide Professional to 125°F (52°C), with the rear pump flow switch closed and the front flow switch set to fully open.
Place the salmon in a vacuum bag and add the olive oil and bay leaf.
Seal the bag to the desired vacuum; for delicate fish, 80% to 90% vacuum is desirable. This will ensure the flesh of the fish is not compressed under vacuum, compromising the integrity of the delicate muscle fibers.
Once the target temperature of 125°F (52°C) is reached, place the bag in the circulating water.
Cook the salmon to the desired doneness, 12 to 20 minutes. With salmon, the albumen, or white protein present in the fish, will begin to emerge from the flesh. When this is barely visible, the fish is ready to be removed from the water.
Remove the bag from the circulating water and carefully remove the salmon from the bag. If a sear is desired, pat the salmon dry with paper towels and season as desired with salt and pepper.
In a hot pan, warm olive oil or butter. Add the salmon and sear until a golden crust forms on both sides. Serves 4.
Adapted from a recipe by PolyScience.