Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Rory Hart

Curing Salmon in a Ziploc bag

Recommended Posts

I am following the directions in Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie for the fennel cured salmon and am wondering if it is okay to cure the salmon in a ziploc bag. I regularly use ziplocs to cure bacon so I'm thinking there probably isn't any issue. They talk about using foil but that seems less convenient and I can get most of the air out of a ziploc so the cure covers the salmon more evenly.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can think of two potential issues. I normally wrap my salmon in something semi-porous (e.g. foil or plastic wrap), then place it in a bowl, with a smaller plate on top of it, with a weight on the plate. This produces a lot of liquid which weeps out of the fish and into the bowl. Crucially, the liquid can escape whilst most of the cure is still held against the fish. The liquid is emptied every day during the curing process. In fact the whole idea for curing fish this way (with a weight pressing down on it) is to get rid of as much moisture as possible so that you can achieve the signature texture of cured salmon.

The first issue - if you use a zip-lock bag, your fish will be in contact with the liquid throughout. It will eventually reach an equilibrium and the fish will not weep any more moisture. Given how delicate fish is, this equilibrium will probably be reached very quickly - perhaps in less than a day. You may actually find this desirable but it will change the result.

The second issue - make sure your zip-lock bag will maintain the seal when you weigh it down with a heavy weight. You don't want it to burst and spill fishy liquid in your fridge ...

BTW another Melbournian ... welcome! :)


Edited by Keith_W (log)

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using Freezer type Zip Lock bags for years for all my curing including whole sides of salmon.

Presently I have a half of a whole brisket (120 cut) curing in A 2 GAL FREEZER ZIP LOCK in a large Pyrex baking dish to catch any leakage.

I have had absolutely no problems with using Zip Locks and the only potential problem might be any leaching of chemicals from the Zip Lock materail but since Zip Locks are designed for food, I have to assume this does not occur to where it amounts to much and I don't have the equipment to detect any leaching anyway.

Use the Zip Lock for your Salmon, you actually require less salt/water as the Zip Lock keeps the fish in contact with the solution. Just put the bag in another container to catch any leakage and turn very few days.-Dick


Edited by budrichard (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done plenty of cures in vacuum bags, where the same principle applies: it works very well, in my opinion, and I find the resulting texture to be excellent.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first issue - if you use a zip-lock bag, your fish will be in contact with the liquid throughout. It will eventually reach an equilibrium and the fish will not weep any more moisture. Given how delicate fish is, this equilibrium will probably be reached very quickly - perhaps in less than a day. You may actually find this desirable but it will change the result.

This different to what Charcuterie says:

Pan size is important, because the fish will release a lot of liquid, forming in effect a highly seasoned brine in which it will cure; and you want the brine to cover as much of the fish as possible.

BTW another Melbournian ... welcome! :)

Yay! I've seen a couple of us around, not surprising given what a foodie town this is especially atm with the festival on and the likes of Bourdain and Oliver on our streets and in our restaurants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, OK. I was taught to make gravlax by a friend's mother and that's what she said :) I suppose that might be an old wives tale then. The next time I make a batch, I will try it in a zip-lock bag.

Oh and BTW Oliver and go back to the UK! I can't stand him :P


There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, OK. I was taught to make gravlax by a friend's mother and that's what she said :) I suppose that might be an old wives tale then. The next time I make a batch, I will try it in a zip-lock bag.

Oh and BTW Oliver and go back to the UK! I can't stand him :P

It is probably a difference in curing processes.

I don't mind Jamie, he is an excellent advocate for people thinking about what they eat. His recipes generally aren't overly exciting but they're solid and straight forward.

That said I'd kill (a pig or two) to hang out with Bourdain. Didn't bother getting tickets to his show, I've watched so many of them already I don't think I would get anything out of it. But chatting to him over a beer (or meal) would be freaking awesome.


Edited by Rory Hart (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turned out beautifully!

The salmon came out of the bag a touch over seasoned at the tail end and I only cured it for two of the recommended three. The fleshy 2/3s were delicious however and I served it last night as tartare with toast points and creme fraiche as suggested in Charcuterie. Will do the tail for a day less next time. I also stored it after washing in ziploc bags with the air pressed out for 4 or so days and they were just as good as when they went in. No idea about longer.

548e51826b6e11e180c9123138016265_7.jpg

I think I will* do the dice smaller than that next time it was a little hard to manoeuvre on the plates and didn't hold its shape well when formed with a ring.

* It was so delicious and simple (apart from the forward planning and skinning) that I have to do this dish again.


Edited by Rory Hart (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done salmon in a dry cure and in a wet brine. They both work but there are textural differences.

Starting with a dry cure in a bag gives the effects of both methods to an extent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What sort of textural differences?

when using a brine to cure the salmon the texture is softer, wetter and silkier. When you use a dry cure, the fish firms up more due to the loss of moisture. My most recent attempt started with a10% brine for 24hr followed a dry cure for 24 hrs. This helped firm up the fish without making gummy bear salmon which I find happens with a 3 day dry cure


Edited by scubadoo97 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Grishna
      Coppa is a classic italian delicacy of matured cured meat. Not as widely known as prosciutto and, in my opinion, not  justifiably. The curing time takes weeks, as it should
      for a well matured and multilayered flavour. Good things come to those who wait, but while you do, why not treat yourself to a quick fix  of cooked coppa? Here is what I do:
      Salt the meat in 2% dry rub (nitrate salt and regular salt 50/50) in a vacuum bag for 5 days; Rub dry herbs and spices (whatever comes to mind). The meat will be sticky, so it's easy; Cook on rack above a tray in the oven on fan setting at 80 celcius to internal temperature 67 celsius.  This will take a couple of hours. When internal temperature reaches 60 -ish I add some boiling water in the tray to speed up the heat delivery; Cool in the fridge overnight; Enjoy. This is a seriously moreish ham.
       
       
         
    • By devinp
      I just finished curing my first lomo, and all looks/smells/tastes great except a couple sections inside the lomo that could be black mold?  I kept the exterior clean from mold (I had mostly white and some green pop up during curing, but wiped with vinegar to keep clean).  This picture shows one of those spots closer to the edge in the fat, but there was a second near the middle of the loin that I cutout already.  Unless I find more substantial sections, I think I'm good just cutting away those parts, but would love second opinions..  Thanks.
       

    • By CarsonWyler
      I'm looking for guanciale, preferably in the Sonoma County area but am willing to travel a bit or order online if necessary. Any ideas?
    • By Glen
      Looking to learn and ask questions about home curing meats.  I have an 11 lb batch of genoa salami going and it is my first batch.  Worried about the PH level not dropping as needed.  Need some advice.   I followed the Marianski recipe exactly.  I have a pH meter and the starting point was 6.15pH which I thought was unusually high.  2.5 months in, I am about 73% of starting weight yet my pH is only 5.88pH.  My curing chamber is consistently at 57deg. F. /80% humidity.  My pH tester seems calibrated properly using the calibration solutions.  I am using the meat probe adapter and just sticking it in the salami until the tip is submerged etc...Thanks in advance for any suggestions or reassurances. 
       
      Glen

    • By liuzhou
      It is possibly not well-known that China has some wonderful hams, up there with the best that Spain can offer. This lack of wide -knowledge, at least in the USA, is mainly down to regulations forbidding their importation. However, for travellers to China and those in  places with less restrictive policies, here are some of the best.
       
      This article from the WSJ is a good introduction to one of the best - Xuanwei Ham 宣威火腿  (xuān wēi huǒ tuǐ) from Yunnan province.
      This Ingredient Makes Everything Better
      I can usually obtain Xuanwei ham here around the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, but I also have a good friend who lives in Yunnan who sends me regular supplies. The article compares it very favourably with jamon iberico, a sentiment with which I heartily agree.



      Xuanwei Ham
       

      Xuanwei Ham
       
      more coming soon.
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...