• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chez56

Shellfish cooked sous vide

11 posts in this topic

Has anyone tried to Sous vide live shellfish in a broth etc? I know that you would have to pull a lesser vacuum on this to allow the shells to open, I was thinking probably in the range of 50% to 60% and you would have to sous vide immediately to avoid suffucation of the shellfish, but you could possibly hold a couple hours for pick up at lower temp. I am thinking about possibly clams or mussels. Would love to know if anyone has tried this.

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

haven't tried...

but I'm not sure I see what the advantage would be, given that cooking clams over high heat takes about 1-2 minutes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

haven't tried...

but I'm not sure I see what the advantage would be, given that cooking clams over high heat takes about 1-2 minutes

I vacuumed sealed some scallops and SV them prior to cold smoking. But your right there is little advantage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive done lobster and shrimp SV with very good results. I thought of doing clams a few years ago but decided not to try with the idea that the clams probably wont open in a low heat. Then theres also the idea of bacteria growth if the shell prevents the clam from reaching pastuerization temps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tried 3 approaches tonight Mussels in a curry broth, with 70% vacuum, 60%, & 50% vacuum. I bagged and sousvideed immediately in  200 degrees F for 15 mins. They all opened up in the bags tried the 50% and the 70% tasted great, plump & full of flavor. The 50% allowed more room for expansion of the shells. I ice bathed the 60% and it immediatel shrunk back down and the shells looked like they had not opened at all. I am going to try a reheat tomorrow in about 200f and see how they held up.

(Weedy )Cooking over high heat also dries out the shellfish, especially if you are preoccupied with other things going on at the time so they can get overcooked. this was a great way to retain all those natural juices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to know they open up. But 200F is way too high to make SV worthwhile. I use an electric steamer with a drip catch to collect all the juices if im reserving them for a dish like lemon butter clams for example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to know they open up. But 200F is way too high to make SV worthwhile. I use an electric steamer with a drip catch to collect all the juices if im reserving them for a dish like lemon butter clams for example.

 

I don't know about shellfish in the shell, but try scallops in 50C/122F bath for 30 to 90 minutes (depending on size). lightly brine first and sear afterwards.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modernist Cuisine approach to sous-vide mussels and clams consists of bagging them, hot steam them for a minute for easier opening (I increase this to 1 1/2 or 2 minutes), open bag, collect all bag juices, open the shells (I do this with an oyster knife) on a bowl, collect the juices that fell on the bowl while opening, then re-bag the bodies with the juices and cook them at a low temperature.

 

I always though this was too much work to be worthwhile, but then I tried and the result is pretty good. I specially like the pure clam juice that you get. Very different from what you get when opening on a pan, much fresher. There has been no evaporation, no mixing with the oil or the little water you put in the pan. Wonderful taste, and the clams cooked to perfection. Not for everyday but an interesting technique for some dishes. I like this more with clams than with mussels.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modernist Cuisine approach to sous-vide mussels and clams consists of bagging them, hot steam them for a minute for easier opening (I increase this to 1 1/2 or 2 minutes), open bag, collect all bag juices, open the shells (I do this with an oyster knife) on a bowl, collect the juices that fell on the bowl while opening, then re-bag the bodies with the juices and cook them at a low temperature.

 

I always though this was too much work to be worthwhile, but then I tried and the result is pretty good. I specially like the pure clam juice that you get. Very different from what you get when opening on a pan, much fresher. There has been no evaporation, no mixing with the oil or the little water you put in the pan. Wonderful taste, and the clams cooked to perfection. Not for everyday but an interesting technique for some dishes. I like this more with clams than with mussels.

What differences do you see with clams vs. mussels? I'm interested because I generally prefer the latter (but haven't tried either S.V.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What differences do you see with clams vs. mussels? I'm interested because I generally prefer the latter (but haven't tried either S.V.)

 

I generally prefer the former, so the differences likely just boiled down to my individual preference and the different quality of the ingredients I used in the tests. The sides of bodies of the mussels were a bit harder to remove from the shells, but I don't know if this happens in general or was specific to my batch.

 

In any case both were good if you are interested in using the pure juice (which I served on the side, in a small glass with just some drops of lime juice) and perfect barely cooked bodies. Otherwise it's too much work.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modernist Cuisine approach to sous-vide mussels and clams consists of bagging them, hot steam them for a minute for easier opening (I increase this to 1 1/2 or 2 minutes), open bag, collect all bag juices, open the shells (I do this with an oyster knife) on a bowl, collect the juices that fell on the bowl while opening, then re-bag the bodies with the juices and cook them at a low temperature.

 

I always though this was too much work to be worthwhile, but then I tried and the result is pretty good. I specially like the pure clam juice that you get. Very different from what you get when opening on a pan, much fresher. There has been no evaporation, no mixing with the oil or the little water you put in the pan. Wonderful taste, and the clams cooked to perfection. Not for everyday but an interesting technique for some dishes. I like this more with clams than with mussels.

 

Spot on, EnriqueB. You beat us to this. Chez56, let us know if you're looking for cook times and temps for a  specific ingredient. If you already own a copy of Modernst Cuisine, you can find all of our recommendations for cooking fish and shellfish sous vide in the parametric tables in Volume 3, pages 102-103. 


Caren Palevitz

Online Writer for Modernist Cuisine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By bhsimon
      Anyone tried this?
       
      I'm trying to think of something novel to do for my friends at an upcoming birthday weekend. We are renting a house in the Hunter Valley (Australian wine region) and food is a major component of our weekend. Last time I did fizzy fruit—the grapes and oranges were awesome and everyone enjoyed the unique experience. I want to do something quirky like that again.
       
      The whipping siphon is easy to transport so I'm interested in using it. The siphoned soufflé in Modernist Cuisine, volume 4 page 297, has a chocolate variation that does not require propylene glycol alginate or maltodextrin (I don't have those things in my pantry, yet). That looks like it might be a good one to try. Anyone done that and have some advice for me before I dive in?
    • By bhsimon
      Besides the health concerns, deep frying steak is the best way to get an even colour and crust on steak. In my most recent experiment, I tried the technique of deep frying prior to, and after, cooking the steak sous vide. In the past, I had only fried the meat after it had been cooked.
       
      The meat was veal chops. As can often be the case, the meat was mishandled somewhere along the way. The obvious signs of this were indentations in the surface. This kind of thing makes it tricky to pan fry and get even colour.
       


       
      This soft meat is also tricky to vacuum seal as it can often be further compressed and misshapen in the process.
       
      I was delighted to observe that a short 45 seconds in hot oil fixed both of these issues! I didn't expect that. Nice. The meat plumped up and that indentation was gone. It also held its shape nicely when vacuum packed.
       

       
      Time and temperature matters. The difference can be just a few seconds or degrees. In the next picture, the time was the same but the oil was 20°C hotter for the steak on the left and the crust is noticeably darker. My next experiment will try 30 seconds at 200°C before and after.
       


      The goal is to keep the crust as thin as possible.
       

       
      I hadn't anticipated the secondary benefits of deep frying prior to sous vide. The plumping of the meat and slight firmness made them easy to package and present. I am curious whether anyone has observed this. I am also curious if it would it work in hot water, rather than oil.



    • By Porthos
      I have purchased an Anova circulator. My interest in sous vide is based upon needing to prepare chicken and pork dishes that remain more moist than other cooking methods I have used. This is based upon needing more moistness for my wife. After her bariactric surgery she became sensitive to meat that is not still very moist.
       
      I would like recommendations for some threads to read through to help get me started.
    • By Adamsm83
      So I did a quick search for a SV whole prime rib and everything I found just turned into, "why waste your time? Just roast it!" Which I would generally agree with, but the kitchen I work in only has one oven that can't be tied up long enough to do the prime rib, so I found a couple of recipes out there and I think my recipe will be as follows...
      Cut a 10# prime rib in half and salt and pepper the outside.
      Vaccum seal each 5# roast and SV at 137 degrees for 10hours.
      Remove from the bags. Pat dry, rub all over with roasted garlic puree, chopped rosemary, thyme & pepper.
      Roast in a 500 degree oven until dark brown.
       
      Now here is where things get tricky, I want to hold it under a banquette heat lamp during service and cut to order (like you used to see at every home town restaurant in the 90's) So my questions are, 1, is it safe? I realize that the SV and the oven should be safe, but then it sits out , although under a heat lamp, lets face it, they aren't great. Still if it sits from 5 to 9 and is gone by 9 then its okay to be in the danger zone since it will be gone in 4 hours anyways (assuming we sell out or throw out left overs. 2, what would my expected yield be after SV. I read you have a loss of approx. 20% when roasting, less if its bone-in, so SV w/ bones what are your opinions? And lastly, what are peoples opinions about the flavor profile of SV beef on the bone. 
       
      Other info to consider, i will be using a very fresh, very local beef that is grass fed up to 600# and finished on brewers grains. The meat has a very rich flavor, not overly irony, but still much more "meaty, beefy" flavor than the crap at the super markets. 
      Anyways, I would like to get this thing rolling next week, so any helpful tips, tricks or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
    • By Morkai
      I am planning on making Michael Ruhlman's macaroni and cheese this weekend for a party. In the recipe, you make a soubise sauce with flour, butter, milk, and carmelized onions. You hand blend these all together (with some spices), and then add the grated cheese to the hot liquid to melt. Then you can mix in with the cooked pasta and keep overnight in the fridge.
       
      Then I remembered I have sodium citrate in the pantry. 
       
      We like this recipe, but find that it's not as "cheesy" or "creamy" as we'd like it to be sometimes, especially after cooking. Would adding a dash of sodium citrate to the cheese/soubise mixture help keep it that classic cheesy texture? Even if it sat overnight in the fridge and was then baked? As I am making this along with smoking a couple pork butts for my girlfriend's co-workers, I really don't want to have a food disaster! 
       
      Thanks all,
       
      Mork
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.