If you’ve never eaten sous vide salmon, prepare to be wowed. This is not the dry, stringy salmon you’ve had at wedding buffets; the buttery texture will convert even the finicky. I find this the ideal way to enjoy salmon, but if you prefer a firmer, more traditional texture and opaque color, cook the salmon for the same amount of time at 60°C. In this recipe, the finished salmon gets topped with a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi, a.k.a. “seven-flavor chile pepper,” a Japanese spice blend that typically includes sesame seeds, citrus zest, and seaweed in addition to coarsely ground dried chile. If you cannot find it, a mixture of toasted sesame seeds and cayenne pepper can replace it here, as the idea is to add a kick of flavor, color, and crunchiness to the custardy salmon.
- Preheat your sous vide water bath to 52°C (125.5°F).
- While the water is heating, combine the water, salt, and sugar in a wide bowl and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Place the salmon pieces in this brine and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Remove the salmon from the brine and rinse it under cold running water to wash off the excess. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Rub the salmon pieces evenly with the canola oil. Place the salmon in a single layer in a gallon-size freezer-safe ziplock bag and seal using the water displacement method.
- When the water reaches the target temperature, lower the bagged salmon into the water bath (making sure the bag is fully submerged) and cook for 20 minutes. When the fish is done, it will have turned an opaque pink and will be very delicate, so handle it with care or it will fall apart.
- While the fish is cooking, make the miso vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and ginger until blended. Slowly pour in the canola and sesame oils in a thin, steady stream while whisking continuously to emulsify. Set the vinaigrette aside.
- When the salmon is ready, gently remove it from the bag and transfer it to a platter or tray. If the salmon pieces were cooked with the skin on and you would like to serve them without the skin, it is extremely easy to remove it now. Simply pull it off, starting at one edge and lifting it off in one piece.
- Just before serving, toss the fennel and pea shoots with the vinaigrette, starting with half of the vinaigrette and adding more to taste. If you like salads lightly dressed, you won’t want to use all of it.
- To serve, arrange the salad on four individual plates, place the warm salmon on top, and sprinkle with the shichimi togarashi.
Reprinted with permission from Sous Vide at Home, by Lisa Q. Fetterman, copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Lisa Q. Fetterman
Sous Vide at Home