The extra time this sous vide salmon takes to cook is worth it. It’s guaranteed cooked-to-perfection with a lemony-tangy caper sauce to top it off.
Due to texture, not every type of fish is recommended, but salmon is and I can see why. Normally, salmon roasts in about 10-12 minutes and turns out pretty great, so I was skeptical about cooking it with this method. The sous vide salmon takes 20-30 minutes to cook not including the time it takes to heat the water and vacuum seal the food. Therefore definitely longer than roasting it.
Well, I’m a convert. I’m not sure I would bother every time I make salmon (at least once a week), but I would certainly make this salmon again. The temperature – just slightly more than medium rare – was exactly what I chose from top to bottom. The texture was excellent and the fish was moist and delicious.
I added a simple lemon-caper sauce of garlic, butter, lemon, capers and parsley. It just takes a few minutes to pull together while the salmon is cooking and adds a wonderful tangy, lemony zip to the mellow salmon. Try serving the sous vide salmon with Mushroom Spinach Couscous or Lemon Dill Rice-Orzo.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Needless to say, you can use whatever sauce you like. Some great options are a basil-mayo sauce, a spicy sweet Thai sauce or a maple-balsamic sauce.
Make Ahead Sous Vide Salmon
- The salmon can be cooked ahead, cooled in the sealed bag in an ice bath and kept in the fridge for a few days to be served cold.
Sous Vide Salmon with Lemon Caper Sauce
- 2 salmon fillets, skin on or off (1/3-1/2 pound each)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped green onions or chives
Lemon Caper Sauce
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated (3 teaspoons)
- 2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
- 3 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- PREPARE THE SOUS VIDE BATH: Fill water in the sous vide machine as per manufacturers instructions (not too high). Set the temperature to 129F (for slightly above medium rare) and allow water to heat to that temperature. My machine says 126F for medium rare, 140F for medium. HINT: start with hot water to reduce heating time.
- PREPARE THE SALMON: Generously season the salmon with salt, pepper and chives (if skinless, do both sides). Fold back top of a sous vide bag about an inch to create a flap (this ensures no food touches the top of the bag where it gets sealed). Insert both salmon fillets, ensuring no overlap. Unfold the flap and vacuum seal the bag using a vacuum sealer. Note 1.
- COOK THE SALMON SOUS VIDE: When the temperature of the sous vide machine reaches 129F, submerge the vacuum sealed bag with the salmon into the water. Cover and cook as follows: if salmon is 1/2-1 inch thick, cook minimum 30 minutes, maximum 40 minutes; if salmon is 1-2 inches thick, cook minimum 40 minutes, maximum 60 minutes.
- MAKE THE LEMON-CAPER SAUCE: While the salmon is cooking, heat a small saucepan to medium with oil. Add garlic and saute for a minute, not letting it burn. Add capers and lemon juice. Cook for a minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter and chopped parsley until sauce is smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
- FINISH THE DISH: Remove the salmon from the water bath. Cut open the bag and remove the salmon. If one side of the salmon has skin, slide a spatula between the skin and the bottom of the flesh and lift off the salmon onto a plate without the skin. Discard skin. Pour sauce over salmon and serve.
- Alternative to vacuum seal: Instead of vacuum sealing the bag, you can use a ziploc bag. Place salmon inside and do on seal bag. Lower bag in water just until top of bag is just above water (water will push air out), then seal bag.
- Make Ahead: Salmon can be cooked and refrigerated for a couple of days to be served cold. Remove salmon from bag carefully (it's very delicate), cool in an ice bath, then refrigerate in a sealed container.
Here are a couple of other salmon recipes you might like: