Wherein I employ a gimmick to cook fish (dishwasher salmon)

Friend and blog lurker Monique recently sent me a link to this guy — I’d vaguely noticed his cookbook before. He looks a little like Zach Braff, and he’s riding a unicycle on the cover, and I noticed it just long enough to wonder “Why is Zach Braff riding that unicycle? What is he doing in the food section?” Then I’d realize it was some other guy, and I’d move on.

Anyhow, Monique knows that my inability to make a decision leaves me (still! months later!) without a cooktop (I know. It’s ridiculous. What is wrong with me??), so she sent along this recipe, for fish that can be cooked in a dishwasher. Yes, a dishwasher.

I did it. Or at least I did my own version of it. And you know what? I learned that you can actually poach fish alongside dirty dishes. It was good. But, more important, it was cool.

Yes. This is a gimmick. I don’t know about your dishwasher, assuming you have one, but my dishwasher cycle takes quite a while. Far longer than it would take to cook salmon in an oven, or on a grill, or in the microwave (microwaved fish: pretty tasty, actually). It was really quite yummy, but given the time it takes, I can’t think of why you’d want to do this except for the show value. But if you’re looking for show value, it’s great. Kids think it’s cool — and kids don’t always think fish is cool. Are there any single guys out there? I keep imagining how turned on I would have been if some guy had offered to cook me dinner and then pulled poached fish out of the dishwasher for me when I arrived.

Here’s what I did:

Take a nice big hunk of salmon (I used Shetland Salmon, which is farmed in the wild. Because the fish are fed krill, instead of the cheaper substitutes, the fish is naturally pink, instead of injected with dyes, like most farmed salmon. Yes, it’s more expensive than the dyed stuff. No, it’s not as expensive as wild salmon). Lay it out on a piece of foil. Drizzle with lemon juice and a touch of olive oil, and then sprinkle with a touch of salt and lots o’ dill (I used the dried stuff, though surely it’s tastier with fresh dill).

Fold into a neat, sealed package (each side should be folded over several times). Make sure it’s sealed on all ends, and that you don’t have any punctures.

Place into dishwasher along with your dirty dishes. Add the soap and run your dishwasher like usual (yes, you can really wash dishes if the seal is tight enough).

Remove. Admire what you’ve done.

Serve (in this case, with roasted green beans and potatoes roasted with olive oil and “all purpose seasoning)

Seriously, though: it was good. We gobbled it all up, except for the part that Merrie begged that we leave aside for her lunch the next day (yeah! She really did!). Tasty stuff, that gimmicky salmon.

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10 Responses to “Wherein I employ a gimmick to cook fish (dishwasher salmon)”

  1. 1 Kristin June 12, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    I can’t believe you did dishwasher salmon! My friend John in Chicago did that one year and his house smelled for days. And the fish was overcooked. Yours looks good, though.

  2. 2 Mir June 12, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    I… believe you… and yet, I am unmoved to try it myself.

    Then again, I have a cook top and a microwave. And an aversion to placing perfectly good food in my dishwasher.

  3. 3 Anna June 12, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    There are also folks who cook food under the hood of their cars. Here’s just one of the many that turned up with a google search.


    What’s next? Food cooked in the clothes dryer? he he


  4. 4 Her Grace June 12, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    I seriously thought you were joking, until I kept reading. They say you learn something new every day, so there’s today’s lesson!

    We get exceedingly cheap wild caught salmon through UNFI (United Natural Foods, Inc.) but you have to belong to a co-op or buying club to purchase from them. It’s usually around $5.99 a pound, and is freezer packed so it keeps well for a long time. (The only drawback is that it’s trawl caught, so not perfect, but a start.)

    I’m with Mir…intrigued, but glad you tried it so I don’t have to prove to myself it can be done :).

  5. 5 Vikki June 13, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    I was reading along thinking…”Strange, but o.k.” until you added the soap. Nope, no dishwasher fish for me.

    As for cooking under the hood of the car, I remember listening to MPR on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. Lynn Rosetto Casper has a turkey show and a truck driver called in to say that he had been cooking a turkey under his hood all day. I’m not going to try that either.

  6. 6 Maggie June 13, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    You’re very adventurous. I don’t know if I’d be more worried about salmon on the dishes or dish stuff on the salmon, but I’m sure I’d be worried about one or the other (because I can always find something to be worried about). But, hey, if your kids eat it ….

  7. 7 Kai June 14, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Yeah I was right there with ya until the soap part too….no “Cascade” fish for me thank you very much.

    I would def be impressed though if some guy cooked me dinner in the dishwasher…I do love a guy that can multi-task…

  8. 8 cleanerplateclub June 15, 2007 at 1:07 am

    Oh, my! That photo wasn’t enough to entice you all? Worry not, folks. It’s all in the seal. No salmon juices escape, no soap gets in, as long as you have sealed it tightly. Seriously – I actually smelled the dishes after I ran the wash. I ate the fish. The Cascade was in the right place, as were the fish juices. I swear. You just want to fold the foil on all sides tightly, several times over. It’s far more eco-friendly than running a dishwasher plus another appliance. But, okay, no pressure…I suppose it is a little bizzare…

    Though I am tempted to try Anna’s hood-of-a-car thing.

    Oh, and yeah, the kitchen did smell. You probably wouldn’t want to cook it in the deep of winter, when doors and windows remain shut.

    Her Grace, I want that $5.99 wild salmon! That’s awesome. I’d feel pretty safe buying it through my cooperative, particuarly because I an now pretty much recognize the fake orange vs. the real stuff. But a warning to all: some folks researched wild salmon claims a few years ago, and discovered that much of the “wild” salmon that folks were paying $26.99/lb for was actually farmed, and mislabeled.

  9. 9 Joe August 14, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Hello. I have recently found your site and am really enjoying it. Thank you for all the information you provide.

    I was interested in the Shetland Salmon you speak of in this post, but when I clicked the link I was incredibly confused by the site. I was wondering if you could explain to me where you get this salmon from, and if it’s possible for me to do so as well.

    Thank you so much for any info you can provide!

  1. 1 donharper.org » Blog Archive » I so want to try this out…. Trackback on January 6, 2008 at 1:51 am
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