Ice Pirate Salmon

In the Sous Vide Recipes Forum
In Canada's part of the Inside Passage, Chinook (king) salmon are called "Springs", because they are caught, usually, in May thru early July. Near the Alaskan border, many of the wild runs are white fleshed, perfectly yummy for sous vide.
Substitute if your 'catching' isn't as lucky...

Salmon fillet
Dill, I use a dried dill seasoning mix, as I can't catch fresh dill, where the salmon run.
Cedar paper
Nobu Japanese seaweed,.. yeah, the big black-green stuff you boil to make daiche.
Sake; frozen in a small ice cube tray.

In plastic bag add an ounce, or 2, of the frozen Sake. Place the salmon fillet, seasoned on the flesh side, into the bag. Cut the cedar paper to a size smaller than the fillet and slide it into place on the flesh side. Cut the seaweed to a size that will fit the bag and extend beyond the edges of the fillet, and slide it into place on the skin side of the fillet. vacuum seal the bag, and cold-chill, or soft-freeze, the package; overnight.
N.B. - Salmon's high calorie content can increase the risk due to parasites. A slight freeze, even in sushi-grade, fresh caught salmon is suggested. I will, sometimes, add a smoke infusion, using a smoke gun, not just for flavor, but for the preservative quality. A brown sugar and salt brine is also effective, but not so good for my blood pressure.

Water bath: I prefer/suggest 128-130f degrees for 30-40 minutes. However, a temperature range of 130-140f for up to 45 minutes will provide a less rare result. a higher temperture and/or a greater time will dry out the fish.

Finishing: Remove the 'wrapped' fillet from the pastic. leaving the cedar paper and the seaweed intact. Place it cedar paper side down on a high temp grill for a few minutes, as the wood begins to smoke. Carefully flip the fillet - advanced version; slide spatula between the flesh and the paper, and flip it leaving the paper on the grill - and grill seaweed/skin side down. I prefer to peel the skin of, before serving and these last few seconds will make that process much easier.

I prefer to serve this with sous vide asparagus, usually a spring vegetable.

3 Replies So Far

I have read some salmon recipes, here and elsewhere, calling temperatures of 125 and lower. The book that came with my PolyScience unit was quite informative and listed 125f, but also had a warning about cooking below 130f.
So, I tried a salmon filet at 128.2f for 30 mins, and thought it was a bit undercooked. I did compensate by leaving it on the grill for an extra few minutes and it was excellent.
Then I looked at the picture of the salmon in the recipe book, and it looked like a 6 pound sockeye salmon. Even my coho, sometimes called 'silvers', is more than twice that size. Therefore, I'm thinking that this has a lot to do with my result. ... and as many of the chinook/king salmon I catch -- yes, I'm just showin' off -- are upwards of 30lbs, I think I will be adjusting the temp/time accordingly.
Know that I will try a freshly caught white chinook at the 125f, at some point... well, because...
Not sure that the size of the (whole) salmon has any effect as the time/temps are normally quoted for individual portions of same thickness. The aim for salmon as for most 'lean' protein is just to bring the core up to the desired temperature.

I haven't tried salmon at this low a temperature but it is something I intend to do. I wonder as a general point whether 'under/over' cooked has much meaning in sous vide cooking as we are usually cooking to a target temperature. Also I suspect we all have different interpretations of what a perfectly cooked steak/salmon/etc is ,mostly influenced by our food experiences.

I don't see any problem in preferring one core temp over another?
I definately agree that "doneness" is a very personal choice.
I did a very nice fillet of white salmon, that had been previously frozen, and I thought a water bath of 127f/53c, finishing it on a hot grill; was a bit overcooked -- again, imho. So, I'm going to keep dropping the temperature.
Last evening I watched an episode of "Iron Chef America" with Morimoto vs. Cantu. I thought it was one of the best shows, ever. The secret ingrediant was herring, and Morimoto - my culinary hero!! - sous vide the herring with a lot of oil in the bag. The camera angle did let me see the temp for just a second, and I'm pretty sure I saw a "51", or 124f, for us backward colonials. I recently ate at Morimoto's restaurant, while I was in Hawaii, and well,.. I'm going to emulate anything he does. hhhmmm, maybe I need a translator, as well.

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