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piece of Sous Vide Salmon with Caper Sauce on plate F
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4.67 from 6 votes

Sous Vide Salmon Recipe with Caper Sauce

The extra time this sous vide salmon recipe takes to cook is worth it. Guaranteed cooked-to-perfection with a lemony-tangy caper sauce to top it off.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
optional brining30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Sous Vide
Servings (change as needed): 2
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets, skin on or off (1/3-1/2 pound each)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onions or chives

Caper Sauce

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated (3 teaspoons)
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • PREPARE SOUS VIDE BATH: Fill water in the sous vide machine as per manufacturers instructions (not too high). Set the temperature to 125F/52C (for slightly above medium rare) and allow water to heat to that temperature. HINT: start with hot water to reduce heating time. Note 1 to choose other temperatures.
  • PREPARE SALMON: Brine salmon if you have time (optional but good). Note 2. If you don't brine, generously season the salmon with salt, pepper. Either way, add chives and drizzle with olive oil.
    To vacuum seal bag (Note 3 to use zipper lock bag instead), 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.
  • SOUS VIDE SALMON: When temperature of sous vide reaches 125F (or whatever temp you choose), submerge sealed bag with the salmon into the water. If using ziploc bag, follow directions in Note 3. Timing: if salmon is 1/2-1 inch thick, cook minimum 30 minutes, maximum 45 minutes; if salmon is 1-2 inches thick, cook minimum 40 minutes, maximum 60 minutes. I usually cook mine for 40-45 minutes.
  • MAKE 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 DISH: Remove the salmon from the water bath. Cut open the bag and remove the salmon. If one side of 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. (or flip salmon over and peel off skin). Discard skin. Pour sauce over salmon and serve.

Notes

  1. Cooking temperature:
    • The equipment you use can make a bit of a difference. The first time around, I suggest going with the manufacturer's guide. Then adjust from there. 
    • Serious Eats and Anova show a chart with these descriptions:
      • 115F/41C translucent and starting to flake
      • 120F/49C very moist, tender, flaky
      • 130F/54C more cooked
    • Here's a video by Sansaire that shows you exactly how each cooking temperature will look - with their immersion circulator (scroll to the second video). 
  2. To brine salmon: Fill a ziploc bag with 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt. Squish around to dissolve salt. Place salmon in a ziploc bag, seal and place in fridge for 30 minutes (or up to 60 minutes). Rinse in cold water and pat dry.
  3. 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. 
  4. Make Ahead
    • The salmon can be cooked ahead, cooled in the sealed bag in an ice bath and kept in the fridge for a 2-3 days to be served cold.
    • To reheat, gently warm bagged salmon by sous vide at 100F for an hour
 
Nutrition values are estimates and will vary with size of salmon used. 
Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 984mg | Potassium: 906mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 963IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg