For perfectly cooked salmon every time, look no further than this sous vide recipe. For an Asian flare, the salmon is served with a garlic ginger sauce.
Let me start by saying that I am not a cooked fish person. Sushi? One of my favorite foods. But cooked fish? No thank you. A lot of it stems from getting sick from fish when I was little and then again two or three times when I was in college. But as a dietitian, I cringe inside knowing how healthy fish is for me and sushi is not the most budget-friendly option for getting my two servings of fish in each week.
Bry also isn’t, well wasn’t, a cooked fish person when I met him, but he has slowly grown to enjoy a filet of baked salmon or panko crusted haddock. The reason for telling you this? Bry LOVED this salmon, and me, well…let’s just say cooked salmon and I may never be friends. So, whether you’re already a fan of salmon or just growing into the idea of eating cooked fish, this sous vide method is the perfect way to prepare your fish without worrying about the house smelling fishy or overcooking it.
Yup, no risk of dry salmon. With the sous vide method, there’s more of a concern of overly moist fish if you cook it for too long. To prepare, we followed recommendations from Serious Eats’ Salmon Sous Vide Guide. Because we are still more sushi than cooked salmon fans, we cooked the salmon at 110F, which resulted in an incredibly soft and buttery salmon. However, if you like your salmon a bit more cooked, yet still tender and flaky cook at 120F instead. With either temperature, you’ll be cooking your salmon for 45 minutes in the sous vide water bath. Again, do not go much over the 1 hour mark as the salmon will get unappetizingly soft.
For more info on what sous vide is, check out my earlier post here.
When deciding which aromatics to use for the salmon, we again thought of our love for sushi and went with freshly grated ginger. To serve, I made a simple ginger soy sauce dip; however, if you are a true salmon lover then the sauce is completely unnecessary as the fish packs a ton of flavor from the ginger alone. An important note: do not use lemon or any other very acidic ingredient as an aromatic as it will alter the texture of the fish.
So here’s a toast to at least half of the Healthy Toast household being a cooked fish convert!
Sous Vide Garlic and Ginger Salmon
- 2 6- oz salmon filets
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider or rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- Pinch onion powder
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp sesame or canola oil plus 1-2 extra teaspoons for searing the salmon
- Place salmon filets on a cutting board and season generously with salt on all sides to dry-brine it. Place filets in a single layer inside either a vacuum sealable bag or a zipper-lock bag. Add olive oil into the bag and quickly use your hands to coat each side of the fish. Seal the bag (either by zipping it closed or using a vacuum sealer) and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. Note this step is key for firming up the texture of the salmon.
- Meanwhile, fill a large pot or tub with water and attach the sous vide circulator to the side. Set the circulator to your desired temperature (110F for soft and buttery, 120F for tender and flaky).
- Once the water has reached desired temperature and the salmon is finished resting, make sure to fully get all the air out of the bag if not vacuum sealed in step 1. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, open the zipper-locked bag and slowly submerge bag into the water bath (do not fully submerge as you don’t want any water getting into the bag!). As you’re submerging, slowly zip the bag closed until you have just the final corner. With your hands, push any remaining air out of the bag then fully zip shut to avoid any water entering the bag.
- Allow sealed salmon to cook in the water bath for 45 minutes.
- While salmon is cooking, prepare sauce ingredients by whisking together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon apple cider or rice wine vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, 1 large clove garlic, minced, pinch onion powder, 1 tsp honey, and 1/4 tsp sesame or olive oil.
- When there’s about 5 minutes left in cooking, place a medium-sized saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat and add a splash of sesame or canola oil. Once salmon is done cooking, remove bag from water bath and carefully remove salmon filets from the bag. Gently pat each filet dry with a paper towel, then place skin-side down in the heated skillet and gently press down on the filets with a spatula to sear. Sear for about 30 seconds on the skin side, flip, then sear just 10-15 seconds on the other side.
- Remove from pan and plate with side of garlic ginger soy sauce. Option to remove skin before plating.