Fish is easily overcooked, and so the precise temperature control of sous-vide cooking is great to always obtain tender juicy fish that is perfectly cooked. Moreover, vacuum sealing the fish with a marinade allows the marinate to penetrate optimally while the fish cooks. Fish only takes a short time to cook sous-vide, as it only needs to cook long enough for the core of the fish to heat up to the temperature of the water in the sous-vide. This time depends on the thickness of the fish: about 5 minutes for 0.5 cm (.2 inch), 20 minutes for 1 cm (.4 inch), 35 minutes for 1.5 cm (.6 inch).
In this cases I cooked a baby sole with Thai flavors, and served it with a Thai dressing. Since I used a whole sole with the bones still in, I cooked it at 50ºC/122ºF to make it easy to get the fish off the bones. For sole fillets a lower temperature would be sufficient. It was easy and delicious, and done in 20 minutes. Here’s what I did…
1 sole (about 300 grams/.66 lbs) or 150 grams (5-6 oz) fillets of sole
1 Tbsp sliced lemongrass
1 Tbsp sliced ginger
1 Tbsp chopped lime leaf
For the dressing
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp palm sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
Vacuum seal the fish and cook it sous-vide for 15 minutes at 50ºC/122ºF for a whole fish or 10 minutes at 42ºC/108ºF for fillets. Because of the precise temperature control it is fine to leave the fish in a bit longer, up to half an hour shouldn’t make a noticeable difference.
This is great with a crispy dry white such as many types of sauvignon blanc.
Dashi is the cornerstone of Japanese cooking. By extracting the flavors of the konbu seaweed by sous-vide cooking, it is easier to achieve the delicate flavor that is characteristic of outstanding dashi.