By Cheyenne Mathews
My high school years are slipping by fast and soon I will be going to college. Which means I will have to learn how to pay taxes, buy a car, and cook food. Feeding myself seems to be the most daunting task especially with all the health concerns revolving around diets or certain foods. Should I eat GMO’s? How much chocolate is too much? Is there is such a thing as eating too much chocolate? Is eating farmed meat bad? These concerns don’t even begin to delve into the realm of actually cooking. How long do you cook a cake? How do you flip an omelet without ruining it? Why do my cookies always burn?
I have a lot of work ahead of me.
This week I shook off all my worries about food and decided to attempt a cooking experiment that could be fun- cooking the perfect piece of salmon: tender, moist and delicious. But… with a dishwasher.
I found that the best salmon does not come from an oven but steps away in the device that cleans cutlery.
That’s right, dishwasher cooking leads to some of the most tender and tasty salmon I have ever tried and I live in the salmon capitol of the world Ketchikan, Alaska.
Dishwashers sanitize dishes in a range of temperatures from 130 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit- temperatures perfect for steaming salmon.
The process is simple, find a recipe (my recipe attached below), follow the recipe and then turn the dishwasher on to a normal/high cycle and wait. The added benefit of using a dishwasher is that you can clean the dish you’ll use for the fish. Who doesn’t like warm warm dishes right out of the dry cycle?
If you wash the dishes with soap you should package the salmon in airtight mason jars so that you can still have tender salmon without the soapy flavor.
As a novice in the kitchen I had no experience with what the perfect salmon should look like. Sure, I have eaten a fair share of salmon in my life, most of which was delicious, but the actual knowledge of what a perfect salmon looks like was something I had never paid attention to. So I enlisted the help of my dad, who, in my expert opinion is a great cook. We compared his recipe of baked salmon with asparagus to the power scrubbed food.
The squeaky clean food was better.
I have a theory that putting a piece of fish back in its natural watery habitat makes the salmon come back to life for one last hurrah before it becomes tasty food.
I am not the only one who thinks this way, several internet sites agree as wells as other professionals. For example there are two professional eaters in my house- my brother and my dad. The both voted the unconventional salmon as tastier.
“This one [dishwasher salmon] is better overall, it made the noodles better. The salmon tastes just fine.” My dad said with his mouth filled with the steamy dishwasher food.
They noticed that the separation of flavors was harder to taste but stated that the way the dishwashed food is cooked in jars makes them easily transportable and heated.
Other experts have weighed in on dishwasher cooking including Oprah and NPR sources, so there are plenty of great ‘washed and dried’ salmon recipes to try.
The meal was salmon, noodles and asparagus with cilantro, lime and scallions. The washed meal took longer on the power scrub cycle – about an hour and a half whereas the baked salmon took about 45 minutes. But the time was worth the reward because the washed salmon had a far better texture than baked salmon. The dished and washed asparagus was too crunchy but the scallions turned out fine.
At the end of the meal as I was walking away my dad looks over at my brother and says, “Maybe now she’ll wash the dishes more.”
- Coho Salmon- we had a fillet in the fridge from fishing this summer, but any kind of salmon works. Cut into slices that fit the selected jar.
- Scallions- they look like onions, chop these into little pieces
- Fresh Cilantro- chop up, only a bushel needed
- Asparagus- chopped to fit into the mason jar
- Lemon juice- A teaspoon of this in each serving (or jar)
- Udon Noodles- tear into pieces until it fits in the jar
- Cajun Seasoning- season after dishwashing
- Ginger- cut into very small slices about the size of your pinky nail, place one of these slices into each jar
Other recipes can be found at NPR under blogs and dishwasher cooking.
This is not the same as pressure cooking. Pressure cooking requires different standards of time and temperature to kill all bacteria for a long-term shelf life. Be sure all food is cooked properly before consumption and that your dishwasher is properly working.