One of the most powerful things about sous vide is its versatility. Sure, you can use the technique to cook the perfect steak or poached egg every time but sous vide lets you do so much more than that. Simply put, it can be the best way to cook many different dishes, especially if you want good structure and flavor at the same time.
The more time I spend working with sous vide, the more I’m impressed with the range of food it can prepare. Not only that, but sous vide makes so many dishes that much more flavorful and interesting – producing many outcomes that you don’t see with regular cooking methods.
All of this is particularly true for seafood. Seafood can often be challenging to cook with, especially as it tends to cook quickly and can lose structure if you’re not careful. Sous vide offers a way to get more flavor into your seafood, while still ending up with an appealing texture and visual appearance.
The 10 recipes on this list are all examples of these patterns. Many of them are also fairly fast to prepare from start to finish. This would let you prepare the dishes on a nightly basis, without the need for extensive planning or prep work.
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Sous Vide Milkfish Confit with Sundried Tomatoes, Garlic, and Capers
This Sous Vide Milkfish Confit recipe ends up sounding much more complicated than it actually is. The meal is extremely simple in practice, as you’re just cooking everything together in the sous vide. That process works extremely well, as the flavors from your various ingredients naturally infuse into the fish. You also end up with something that looks great on the plate – especially when paired with a vibrant side, like the rice in the image.
Sous Vide Salad Nicoise with Asian Vinaigrette
Salad nicoise is a fairly typical dish and is easy to make with canned tuna. But, this Sous Vide Salad Nicoise takes the traditional salad in a very different direction, one that works well.
There are two key things to mention with this salad. First of all, it uses tuna loin, prepared in the sous vide. The end result is a thousand times better than canned tuna and isn’t at all difficult. The tuna ends up being moister and doesn’t have that ‘canned’ taste you normally find.
The other aspect to mention is the vinaigrette. The flavors used in this recipe are very different than the traditional preparation, which may surprise some. But, the tuna and the Asian vinaigrette do work together well and makes a nice change from how the salad is normally prepared.
Sous Vide Squid Stuffed with Sticky Chorizo Rice
Fish is fairly easy to get right most of the time but squid is much more difficult. The problem is that you lose too much flavor with a long braise but flash frying the squid comes with its own disadvantages. In contrast, this Squid Stuffed with Sticky Chorizo Rice is much more effective and takes full advantage of sous vide cooking.
With sous vide, the squid maintains its sweet flavor, while still being tender. Stuffing the squid with rice gives you something that is easy to pick up and eat, without diminishing the natural taste of the squid. The flavor combination works together perfectly, while the dish looks stunning on the plate.
Soy-Ginger Sous Vide Bacalao Loins
These Soy-Ginger Bacalao Loins take their inspiration from Asian cooking, as you can probably guess. The flavor combination always works well with fish, regardless of the specific type of fish you choose. I particularly love the way these turn out visually, as the fish is stained with the color of the soy. The change in coloring also makes it clear just how deeply the flavor has permeated into the fish.
Sous Vide Cod Loins in White Wine Dill Sauce
These Cod Loins in White Wine Dill Sauce are a direct contrast to the previous recipe. In this case, I focused on relatively subtle flavors and these allow the taste of the fish to shine through much more. As a result, the fish is just cooked with a few ingredients, while the sauce is made separately.
Both this recipe and the previous one look fantastic on the plate, even though they are very different than one another. They both have their place at the dinner table and show that fish doesn’t have to be boring.
Sous Vide Cocktail Prawns with Orange-Caper Sabayon
Making fish with sous vide may be common but you can also try recipes like these Cocktail Prawns with Orange-Caper Sabayon. Here, you end up with a visually elegant and sophisticated dish that has the flavors to match.
The best thing is that the cocktail prawns aren’t even difficult to prepare. Instead, the sous vide does most of the work for you and means there is no guessing when you’re cooking the prawns. The orange-caper sabayon does take a little more work but it isn’t tough either.
Sous Vide Chili-Butter Cobbler
This Sous Vide Chili-Butter Cobbler is the perfect choice for fish that you just can’t screw up. With it, we’re relying on compound butter to infuse the fish with flavor and to add to the tenderness of the finished meal. This type of butter is very easy to make and you have complete freedom with the flavors that you use. Despite the ease of preparation, you end up with a visually stunning dish.
Soft Shell Sous Vide Crab Po’Boys
Here’s another fairly unusual recipe, this time for Soft Shell Crab Po’Boys. This is a powerful dish if you want something a little bit different, especially as you can cook the crabs from frozen as well. The cooking time for this recipe is considerably longer than the various fish options on this list, so you will need to plan a little bit more for this recipe. However, this is passive time, so you can mostly leave the sous vide to do its own thing.
The other components of this recipe are simple to prepare, so you’re not wasting much time on that end. The finished sandwiches taste great and are fun visually, especially due to the contrasting colors.
Sous Vide Mahi-Mahi with Squid Ink Bean Puree
Speaking of color contrasts, this Mahi-Mahi with Squid Ink Bean Puree uses that same general concept. In both cases, the contrast is much more than just a visual quirk. Instead, the different flavors complement one another well, creating a dish that is interesting to look at and enjoyable to eat.
Sous Vide Poached Salmon with Orange-Cilantro Beurre Blanc
Salmon looks, tastes and behaves differently than other types of fish, so I had to include at least one salmon recipe on the list. The fish in question is Poached Salmon with Orange-Cilantro Beurre Blanc. Now, the meal sounds like a mouthful and even looks complicated but that isn’t actually the case. Instead, the salmon itself is extremely easy to prepare and the sauce isn’t as hard as it sounds either.
With this dish, I can’t decide which I like more – the appearance or the taste. But regardless, both of those components are perfect, especially as the salmon itself is tender without being dry. Meals like this are the reason I keep coming back to sous vide as a technique.