There are so many hidden messages in this post.
Eat more salmon, it’s good for you.
Vacuum sealing food is cool.
You should invest in a sous vide machine, it’s more than just the hip new thing.
Rahul ate this and he is quite the picky salmon eater so that’s a really good sign.
Do you love your food? I want you to enjoy cooking, and cool inventions such as the sous vide technique is a great way for you to get techy and geeky with your cuisine. Let my salmon with miso marinade be your gateway.
WHY SOUS VIDE?
It’s not just because it sounds fancy, nor is it because it’s hip and cool (though it is). These machines are making their way into the kitchens of home cooks who want to travel beyond stove-top burners and ovens, says The New York Times. I believe sous vide cooking is actually better for those learning to cook because it is virtually impossible to overcook food in the machine. Unlike an oven, where the temperature can vary, sous vide machine will cook food to a specific temperature and then stop.
HOW IT WORKS
To cook sous vide, you need these tools:
- A large stock pot or BPA-free plastic container
- Water, silly
- A vacuum sealer and bags
- Your protein or vegetables
- Sous vide immersion circular such as the PolyScience brand
Some people have successfully used a cooler and Ziploc plastic bags to sous vide, but since I have not tried that, I’m not going to give you tips on it. Instead, I highly suggest investing in a vacuum sealer that you can use to put food in the freezer for months in addition to the sous vide technique. A large stock pot such as the one you would can your summer garden bounty in is perfect.
ChefSteps and Modernist Cuisine are two trusted sous vide resources. They have tested and tested and tested various cooking times and temperatures so you do not have to. Use them as a guideline for determining what you are going to do.
I cooked this salmon in sous vide water bath at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes as suggested by ChefSteps. Modernist Cuisine cooks salmon at 113 degrees, resulting in a product that is rarer than what I was going for. It’s tough enough to get Rahul to eat salmon already, no need to make him question whether it is cooked to temperature. The plastic bag was gently placed in the water bath and left alone. During that precious time, I started getting Christmas presents together and poured a beer. Tough life.
After 30 minutes, the salmon is ready to eat. Flaky, tender and not a bit overcooked, the salmon came out of the package looking like what it did when it went in – pinkish red and covered in miso marinade.
I have overcooked salmon before. When it happens, you’ll see white stuff emerging onto the surface. It’s the fat from the salmon that has been rendered too long. Your salmon will likely taste dry. It will be edible, but not as deliciously tender as sous vide salmon.
Above you can see salmon with my miso marinade, a blend of mild yellow miso paste, soy sauce, mirin (a sweet Chinese cooking liquid found in any Asian grocery market), and Sriracha. It’s my go-to sauce for just about any Asian-inspired dish these days. Don’t know much about miso? I first tried it with oven baked salmon and fell in love. This post shares information about the different colors and flavor profiles of the lovely fermented paste.
Left to marinate on the salmon for one hour, the salmon begins to absorb the flavors. You could marinate the salmon overnight for stronger flavors. Since there is no acidity in the marinade you do not have to worry about it cooking the fish. Yes, leaving lemons on your fish too long can actually start the cooking process.
Animal proteins will be completely cooked but their texture will be similar to that of their raw form. This is why I deep fried my short ribs after they cooked in sous vide bath for 72 hours, or why I put a slight char on these bbq boneless skinless chicken breasts with the grill. Our taste buds are accustomed to that tougher skin texture that comes with conventional cooking techniques.
For fish, it is different. ChefSteps recommended heating oil in a nonstick skillet, placing the fish skin side down and letting it sear for 45 seconds to crisp the skin. I do not eat the skin, so this step was not necessary. Unlike my baked miso salmon, this sou vides salmon will not acquire the darker brown coat that an oven provides. You could place the sous vide salmon in the oven, but you risk the potential for overcooking the fish.
From there, the fish can be plated and enjoyed right away.
Here you can see the flakiness of the salmon and the gorgeous pink color. The tones of brown on top come from the miso marinade.
SOUS VIDE SALMON WITH MISO MARINADE
- 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- Two 8-ounce salmon fillets
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk the miso paste, soy sauce, mirin, and Sriracha together. Place the salmon fillets in a glass baking dish and pour the sauce on top. Cover the dish with foil and let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.
- Secure the sous vide machine onto a large stock pot or large plastic, food-safe container. Fill the vessel with water past the minimum required line. Turn the machine on and set the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 48.9 degrees Celcius.
- While the temperature is rising, vacuum seals the salmon into a plastic bag.
- Once the temperature reaches 120 degrees, place the bag inside the pot, ensuring that it does not touch the circulator. Set the timer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the fish from the water and turn the machine off. Plate the salmon and top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.