Perfect Salmon Sous Vide
- 4 skin-on salmon fillets,140-170g each
- Sea salt
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil or marinade
- Ground spices or aromatics (optional)
- 2 tsp (10ml) vegetable oil, if serving seared
If your salmon isn’t pre-filleted, make sure to remove the bones and separate into smaller pieces with the skin on.
Season the salmon on all sides generously with salt. If you’d like, you can also season with black pepper or other ground spices, such as cumin or paprika, or spice mixes like Japanese togarashi or za’atar.
Place the salmon portions in a single layer inside one or more sealable bags. Add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil or marinade, such as teriyaki, per fillet to each bag, turning the salmon and using your hands to make sure that it's coated on all sides to prevent sticking.
Add some aromatics or fresh herbs such as minced garlic or ginger, thinly sliced shallots, or grated citrus zest, thyme, parsley, or dill. Do not add large chunks of food which can damage the shape of the fish. Once bagged, seal the bag and let the salmon rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight for the salt to firm up the flesh.
Set the temperature on your sous vide cooker to 41°C if you want your salmon rare, 54°C if you want your salmon well-done, or anywhere in between according to your preference.
When the sous vide bath is at temperature, remove all the air from the bag with a vacuum sealer. To take the air out of the bag without a vacuum sealer, use the Water Displacement Method: Seal the bag most of the way, but leave a little room for air to escape. Submerge the bag slowly into the water and massage the bag around the food to help remove the air, and lower it gently until you reach near the top. Be careful not to get too close to the water’s tip. Seal the bag completely and you’re done.
After the sous vide time is up, carefully remove the salmon from the bag using your hands or a fish spatula, keeping it supported at all times to prevent it from breaking. Place it on a double layer of paper towels, then use another paper towel to gently blot the surface dry. Discard the aromatics.
If you'd like, you can remove the skin, which should peel right off. You can serve the salmon immediately as-is, chill it and serve it cold, or for a more classic presentation, sear it briefly before serving.
To sear, heat up a thin layer of oil in a cast iron, carbon steel or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon skin side down, gently pressing on it with a fish spatula so it makes good contact with the pan. Sear until the skin is browned and crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip the salmon and briefly press the second side to give it a touch of colour.
Transfer to paper towels to blot off excess oil, then serve immediately.
- Add a piece of aluminium foil under the fish so you can remove it easily
- Use a small plate to weigh the bag down so it stays submerged
- For a speedy meal, refrigerate sous vide-d salmon until you’re ready to sear