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 - although at this low temperature, it's worth using sashimi-grade salmon.
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 a deep pink 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 sashimi-grade salmon fillets, skin removed
- 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 in 100ml white wine vinegar. Add one thinly-sliced onion, and ¼ thinly-sliced cucumber and refrigerate for an hour. Drain to serve and stir through chopped chervil.)
- 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 in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Fill the sous vide machine or container with warm water from the tap, and set the sous vide 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 either serve straight away, or chill the sealed bags in iced water in the fridge for a couple of hours to serve cold. Served cold, the salmon firms up more which you may prefer.
- Open the bags, slice and serve the fillets on individual wood boards with a blob of crème fraiche, chervil garnish, and spoon of red onion and cucumber pickle.
After a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant Nicola became obsessed with seeking the best flavours from around the world. She started Sous Chef in 2012, and is always sharing her knowledge of ingredients and writing recipes to showcase those products. Learning from the products, Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola has written the majority of the recipes on the Sous Chef website, all of which are big on flavour.