How to Sous Vide Salmon
If you’re a home chef who favors flavor, we’re betting you know all about sous vide precision cooking. The sous vide method has risen in popularity as a new member of the low-and-slow family, circulating hot water to evenly cook food over the course of a few hours, or even a day.
The downside to sous vide, however, is that cooks typically vacuum seal their turkey breast or New York steak in a single-use plastic bag before submerging it in its water bath. While the bag is what locks in all the flavors and juices, making sous vide known for tender and tasty meals, we’re not fans of the plastic pollution that piles up.
Thankfully, Stasher bags have a leak-free seal and are fully submersible, making them perfect for sous vide cooking – and no fancy equipment is required, either. Stasher bags are made of platinum food-grade silicone and are endlessly reusable, making it safer for your health and a helpful way to reduce single-use plastic waste.
So without further adieu, we’d like to share our favorite sous vide recipe: flaky, buttery sous vide salmon, the Stasher way! Find the details below.
What do you need to sous vide salmon?
The great part about the sous vide cooking method (besides the extra tasty food it makes) is that you don’t actually need fancy equipment like an immersion circulator or vacuum sealer. So long as you have a large cooking pot, a digital thermometer, and a large Stasher bag or two, you’re set.
Our Sous Vide Salmon Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-90 minutes
Sous Vide Salmon Ingredients:
- 1 10-ounce whole wild-caught sockeye salmon fillet
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- Olive oil or butter
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- Salt & Pepper to season
- First, brine your salmon to season and prevent it from overcooking. This also prevents albumen (A.K.A., the white stuff) from bubbling out of the salmon. Whisk ¼ cup kosher salt into one quart of ice water until dissolved. Add the salt water mixture and salmon into a Stasher Stand-Up Mega Bag or Half Gallon Bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to one hour).
- For fresh salmon, set your sous vide machine to 120°F – the preferred temperature for most chefs – and let the water pre-heat. (If you’re using a digital thermometer in a large pot of water, then slowly raise the temperature on the stove until your thermometer reads a steady 120°F.) For frozen salmon fillets, set the temperature to 130°F.
- When the water is ready, remove the salmon fillet from the brine and rinse both the fillet and the bag with cold water. Pat dry and place it back into your Stasher bag with your marinade of choice. We keep it simple with two tablespoons of olive oil or butter, lemon slices, a sprig of your favorite aromatic herbs (we love rosemary or thyme), and a pinch of pepper. Don’t worry about taking the skin off yet – it’s a lot easier to do after the salmon is cooked, and you may want to keep the skin on if you plan to pan-sear your salmon after the water bath.
- Next, use the water displacement method as a vacuum sealer to remove air from the Stasher bag. Seal it part of the way, and then slowly lower it into the hot water bath – as you do, the water slowly forces the air out of the bag, creating a vacuum seal. Once the water level reaches almost to the top seam of the bag (don’t let any water into the bag!), close off the bag entirely. Use clips or silicone weights to keep the bag submerged in the water if necessary.
- For fresh salmon, cook for 30-45 minutes for thin fillets and 1 hour for thicker ones. Frozen salmon needs a little more cook time, so plan for it to spend about 1.5 hours in the water bath.
- Once the cook time is up, remove the Stasher bag with salmon from the water and carefully remove the fillet – it will be extremely delicate! Slide the skin off (or keep it on if you plan to pan-sear the fillets) and gently pat the fillets with a paper towel or clean cloth “paper” towel. If you’re serving the salmon cold, you can transfer the bag directly from the sous vide bath to an ice-water bath until chilled. Otherwise, once the skin is removed, your salmon is ready to be served as is.
Lemon-Dill Creme Fraiche (Optional)
For extra delicious salmon, try this quick lemon-dill creme fraiche – and save a little fresh dill for garnish, too.
- 1 cup creme fraiche, sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup fresh dill, loosely chopped
- Whisk together all ingredients (or give them a vigorous shake in a 2-Cup Stasher Bowl for minimal dirty dishes) and serve atop your sous vide salmon. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated in the same Stasher bowl for up to two days.
Serving Sous Vide Salmon
Now it’s time to serve! There are lots of ways to enjoy salmon, so it’s really up to personal preference: chill it (cold salmon flakes easily and can be sliced with salads), sear it skin-side down at high heat in a cast iron or non-stick skillet, or serve it as is from the water bath with a quick pat of a paper towel and a squeeze of lemon juice. Since salmon is such a classic, it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated to be delicious. Serve with your favorite sides, like roasted potatoes and asparagus, salad and rice, etc.
If you haven’t tried your hand at sous vide cooking before, salmon is a great place to start. And with leak-free, food-safe, endlessly reusable Stasher bags on your side, we know that salmon won’t be your last foray into the world of sous vide cooking, either.