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Bathtub salmon sous vide

Photo by Liz LawleyIn his column for Octber's Vogue (not online), Jeffrey Steingarten buys an immersion circulator on eBay and goes for some at-home sous vide cooking. But here's the most important thing I learned from the article: you can sous vide in your bathtub!

The temperatures for fish are radical. [Sous vide cookbook author Joan] Roca has you cook salmon until its internal temperature is 100.4° F. (Incidentally, if 100.4° F sounds foolishly precise, that's because Roca's 38° C was directly translated for the English edition of the book.) The texture of fish cooked this way is astounding -- like a translucent gel with not a hint of fibrousness -- the color is the bright pink of fresh salmon, and the flavor is neither raw nor cooked but a taste of its own.

Mmmm. Mmm. Mr. Steingarten then points out:

100.4° F is two degrees above body temperature. You can cook wild salmon in your pocket the next time you have a fever. Or in your bathtub -- lightly salt several six-to-seven-ounce pieces of salmon; wrap them tightly in plastic; using a good electronic thermometer with a fine probe, get the bathtub to around 115° F, leaving a little dribble of hot water to maintain the temperature, and submerge the salmon. Don't wrap one piece, but use it for testing by inserting the thermometer to its very center. When it reaches 104° F, the salmon is ready. Sear it briefly in a very hot pan in smoking olive oil to add a familiar flavor.

So there you have it: bathtub wild salmon, sous vide. Who needs a stove when you can cook your fish in your dishwasher or tub?

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