All about ‘Sous Vide Cooking’

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Did you know chefs have been slow-cooking vacuum packed food in hot water baths under controlled temperatures for years? Known as ‘sous vide,’ this technique is gradually making way to home kitchens as well with low-cost machines available. Sous vide, literally translated as ‘under vacuum’ in French, is an innovative cooking technique in which food vacuum sealed and slow-cooked at constant low temperature till it is perfectly succulent throughout. The sole purpose of using this technique is to enhance the aroma, flavour and texture of food like never before.

Here are some amazing reasons why everyone should try using this technique, even if it’s just for once!

1. Done right, every time!

You know how there’s always a wrong and right way of doing things. If you’re using this technique, there are hardly any chances of going wrong at all. Sous vide deletes guess work out of cooking and food is protected from under and over cooking.

2. Fantastic flavours

Slow cooking meat, fish or even vegetables help them to get juicy, tenderise flavours throughout and also have the perfect consistency. Besides, the intention of this technique ensures that inside is appropriately cooked without over cooking the outer part of the food and also retaining moisture.

3. Easy and convenient

Sous vide technique is much easier and convenient as compared to other types of cooking methods as all you need to do is place the sealed parcels of food in hot water bath or a convection steam under regulated temperature, which is much lower than used for normal or traditional cooking.

4. Minimal mehnat

Vacuum sealed packets don’t need additives or preservatives to extend their shelf life, still you will taste the difference.

Five simple steps to follow when you’re practicing sous vide cooking:

  • Season/marinate ingredients with oil, spices or herbs.
  • Package food under the sealed parcel.
  • Set the cooking temperature of the sous vide steam oven.
  • Cook for appropriate time to get tender and juicy meats.
  • Finish, store or serve.

How to prepare food for vacuum sealing?

Divide raw meat in equal portions for each vacuum bag, before sealing; add olive oil, herbs and spices to each bag. You can then refrigerate until it’s required. Vacuum sealing individual portions also provides an easy way to add measured amounts of seasoning to each portion, which further ensures that the serving is seasoned correctly and consistently. In hot water bath, it is easy to cook every piece of fish or meat precisely at the same degree of doneness.

Uses

  • Raw meat sealed in vacuum pouches can be stored for couple of days in freezer. Moreover, you can even store marinated meat in vacuum sealed parcels for couple of days to enhance its taste and nutritional value.
  • Deep freezing vegetables, dry fruits, meat, fruits in sealed or vacuum pouches increase their shelf life. For instance, artichoke and apple slices turn brown with exposure of air. However, it’s the other way round if these fruits are packed in vacuum sealed parcels.
  • Combining flavours of different ingredients is possible through sous vide technique. You can use this technique for 2 different ingredients and ensure to preserve the sealed bag for a day in the refrigerator.
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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.