Sous Vide Salmon: Brining is Key

Sous Vide Salmon: Brining is Key


We’ve heard mixed reviews on sous vide salmon. Being the stubborn salmon lovers we are, we were determined to try it anyway. We did quite a bit of research before diving in and learned several things — the most important first step being to sous vide salmon brine before any precision cooking. Another surprise was discovering that different types yielded different results. We tested wild Coho salmon, in addition to Norwegian. Both worked as well as Anova salmon, but the results were definitely distinct. The Coho was firmer and easier to handle when searing. Although the Norwegian fillet required more delicate handling, it was rich and wonderfully salmony. Both were delicious and required no additional seasoning because they were both brined for 30 minutes beforehand. Keep reading for the perfect sous vide salmon recipe, as well as details for Lemon-Dill Creme Fraiche and Chilled Cucumber Salad to go with it.

Salmon Sous Vide

Sous Vide Salmon Recipe

Sous Vide Salmon with Lemon-Dill Creme Fraiche
Serves: 2 Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes Temp: 125°F (52°C) for medium-rare, or 135°F (57°C) for medium. Finishing step: For crispy skin, pan sear in olive oil over high heat 2 6-ounce salmon fillets, skinned, and pin bones removed ¼ cup kosher salt 1 quart ice water 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil For the brine, whisk the kosher salt into the ice water until dissolved. Add the salmon and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to one hour). NOTE: Sous vide salmon brine is an important step. The brine keeps the albumen (white bubbly stuff) from leaching out of the salmon, in addition to seasoning the fish and providing another defense against overcooking. Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 125°F (52°C) for medium-rare, or 135°F (57°C) for medium. Remove the salmon fillets from the brine and rinse with cold water. Pat dry and place each fillet in a separate vacuum bag or zipper seal bag with two tablespoons of olive oil each.

Salmon Sous Vide Recipe
Seal on “gentle” setting, or manually seal in a ziplock bag and remove as much air as possible. Place the bags in the water and cook for 20 minutes. (If needed, you can leave in the water for an additional 20-30 minutes without any negative effects.) Remove the bag from the water and carefully remove the sous vide salmon. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside. The brine should provide ample salt seasoning, but you can season additionally with salt and pepper if desired. In a hot non-stick sauté pan, warm one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the salmon and sear about one minute, or until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Serve with Lemon-Dill Creme Fraiche and Chilled Cucumber Salad (below). If crispy salmon skin isn’t your thing, you can remove the skin before or after cooking and serve straight from the water. Alternatively, you can take the bags directly from the water and chill in a water-ice bath. Once the fillets have chilled, you can serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

Lemon-Dill Creme Fraiche 1 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream or Greek yogurt) 1 lemon, juice and zest ¼ cup loosely packed chopped fresh dill (or chives or tarragon) Whisk together all ingredients and serve with sous vide salmon. Can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to two days.

Chilled Cucumber Salad 1 English cucumber, sliced in ¼-inch rings ¼ red onion, julienned 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil kosher salt and pepper Toss all ingredients and serve with sous vide salmon. Can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to two days.

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