Sous-vide cod with braised fennel and white wine sauce

Last night after the delicious ravioli with gorgonzola and witlof we had this simple but good dish that went nicely with the same wine (Erbaluce di Caluso).

This was my first attempt at sous-vide cod and it turned out perfectly cooked with a great texture. However cod is so flaky that it seems impossible to sear the fish after cooking sous-vide without breaking it apart. Perhaps I’ll try pre-searing next time.


For 2 servings:

Fresh fillet of cod

250 grams (1/2 pound) cod fillet

125 ml (1/2 cup) white wine

125 ml (1/2 cup) home-made fish stock

1 fennel bulb

1 shallot

1/2 lemon

salt and freshly ground white pepper



Pre-heat the water bath to 54C/129F.


Clean the fennel and cut into strips. Sauté the fennel in some butter, season with salt and freshly ground white pepper and let braise covered for around 30-45 minutes over medium-low heat until golden brown. Stir now and then and make sure that it doesn’t burn, but on the other hand the taste will be enhanced if it is browned quite a bit as you can see in the final picture. At the end of the cooking, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on the fennel and stir.

Cod ready to be cooked sous-vide

Meanwhile, wash the cod fillet, pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Seal in a bag with a bit of butter and cook sous-vide for 30 minutes.

Sautéing the shallot

Meanwhile, chop the shallot and sauté it in a small saucepan in some butter until translucent.

Fish stock and shallot

Add the white wine and let reduce a bit over high heat, then reduce the heat and add the fish stock and let simmer without boiling to reduce to about one quarter of the original volume. Strain through a sieve and keep warm.

Cod has been cooked sous-vide

Pre-heat the plates.

Remove the fish from the bag and sear in very hot butter on all sides (try to keep as whole as possible, but fish will break).

Finish the sauce by whisking in a bit of cold butter off the heat. The sauce will thicken a bit, but not much.

Cod with braised fennel and white wine sauce

Serve the fish with the sauce, a slice of lemon and the braised fennel.

Wine suggestion: this will go well with almost any dry white unoaked wine that is not too heavy as the taste of the fish is quite delicate.


13 thoughts on “Sous-vide cod with braised fennel and white wine sauce

  1. We made this with our new sous-vide oven last night. It was great. The sauce was good as well. Thanks.

    You will see a post on some of this later today..


    1. How did the searing go? As you can see in my picture above, the cod fell apart. That’s why I decided I’d try pre-searing next time, but haven’t gotten around to cooking cod again since.


      1. We did not sear the cod and it did fall apart just a bit. We will sear before-hand next time as well..

        We also have a torch, so may try that as well.


        1. I haven’t been able to find a powerful gas-powered torch in the Netherlands yet. They all seem to be electric, which won’t work.
          I think the torch would be great, especially to sear the skin if you leave that on.


          1. We have a brulee torch- we will have to see if it works well on fish / meat. I think it will, but it will be somewhat slow. Will post when we test it.


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