There are many different ways of cooking salmon sous vide. The higher the temperature of the water, the closer the fish is to being conventionally-cooked. If a salmon fillet is put in a water bath at 65°C for five minutes, then the outside will be gently-cooked, with a lightly-done centre. Cooking the salmon for a longer time at a 40°C means that it has a more even, lightly-cooked texture throughout. There’s no right or wrong. It’s simply a matter of preference.
The other thing worth noting with salmon is that it gives off a white protein called albumen as it cooks, which can discolour the fish – a pity when using deep pink Alaskan salmon. By brining the fish in a salt solution first, it draws out the albumen and retains the pure, rich colours.
Ingredients Serves: 4
- 4 x 100g Alaskan salmon fillets (this ensures a deep red colour)
- 1.5kg water
- 150g salt
- 50g sugar
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- Black pepper
- 20ml vegetable oil
- Crème fraiche
- Chervil Red onion and cucumber pickle. (Dissolve 25g sugar into 100ml white wine vinegar. Add one thinly-sliced onion, and ¼ thinly-sliced cucumber)
- Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water to create the brine, and then chill to 5°C.
- Place the salmon fillets in the chilled brine for ½ hour.
- Fill the sous vide machine with warm water from the tap, and set the temperature to 40°C.
- Rub the fillets in a little oil and put them in a sous vide vacuum bag with a little black pepper and a sprig of thyme. Cook them in the water bath for 45 minutes.
- Remove, and present the fillets on individual wood boards with a blob of crème fraiche, chervil garnish, and spoon of red onion and cucumber pickle.