I was pretty sure I didn’t need another kitchen gadget, but it appears I was mistaken.
For my birthday last month, my wonderful mama bought me an Anova Culinary Precision Cooker, which is an immersible sous vide machine. Until recently, sous vide cooking required a big old contraption that took up a bunch of counter space, and that was only when the method started to become popular in home kitchens. Before that, you’d really only find them in fancy restaurant kitchens.
The incredible thing about the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker is that it doesn’t take up a single square inch of counter space. Want more pros? It’s easy to use, and it makes a simple salmon supper otherworldly. Seriously, I’ve never had better salmon than salmon that was cooked with this method.
Crispy Skin Sous Vide Salmon
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes, plus time to brine
serves: 2-4 (for a main course, 6 oz per person is a good portion)
For the brine:
1/4 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups ice water
1 pound salmon, cut into portions
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I love Kasandrinos*)
1 tablespoon ghee (I love Tin Star Foods)
Dissolve the salt and honey in the boiling water. Add the ice water.
Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish that it just fits in and pour the brine over it. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
After 30-60 minutes, remove the salmon from the brine, give it a quick rinse and pat dry. Gently vacuum seal each portion in its own bag, dividing the olive oil among them.
1. If using a vacuum sealer that doesn’t have different settings, stop the vacuum action before it compresses the salmon too much; the flesh is delicate and you don’t want to break it.
2. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can simply use Ziploc bags and squeeze as much air out as possible.
Set the sous vide to 125° F / 52° C. Once the temperature is reached, submerge the salmon for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Once you see the albumen (white protein) start to release from the fish, it is done.
Remove the fish from the bags and pat dry. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ghee. Once shimmering, add the salmon, skin side down, and sear for 2-3 minutes, or until crispy, and releases easily from the pan. Serve skin side up over your favorite veggies or salad. Pictured here is a simple zucchini noodle salad made with early girl tomatoes, white balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic and sea salt.
* Save 10% on your entire order at Kasandrinos when you enter zenbelly at checkout!
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Do you have any concerns about BPA or other contaminants from plastic leaching into your food? A lot of paleo experts recommend only using tightly sealed glass jars for sous vide, packed in as much as possible with as little air space as possible. We’ve been using sous vide for years and love the results (don’t even get me talking about chicken thighs, duck legs, or rib eye!), but we’re still very concerned about the issues of plastic contaminants, particularly as they intensify with heat, even though our sous vide bags are certified BPA free. Any thoughts?
I completely understand peoples’ concerns about BPA and plastic contaminants. I use almost all glassware to store my food for those reasons. That being said, I might be a bit of a hypocrite on the topic… If sous vide didn’t result in such amazing results, I’d probably just skip it. But it does, so I’m okay taking the good with the bad in this case. I haven’t tried using glass jars to cook sous vide; it sounds kind of impractical (but I’ll look into it). Part of me absolutely hates the idea of cooking food in plastic, and the other part can’t get over how good food comes out when you cook it in a water bath. So yes, I suppose I have thoughts on the matter, but I don’t think they’re all that helpful! 🙂 I think using BPA-free bags is a great compromise.
I often sous vide my salmon in Ziplok bags immersed in HOT tap water in a very large pan. The deepness of the pan retains the heat required but it can also be set over the lowest heat on a stove top if preferred. The salmon cooks in 20 minutes (also add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to bag) and is then finished for about one minute in a hot frying pan (with or without sauce). As you slowly lower the bag into the hot water the air is forced out and the bag can be zipped. Works a treat!