Jump to content
  • 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 a free account.

Sous vide halibut


boudin noir
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently did some halibut steaks sous vide. They were about 1 1/2  inches thick. I did them for 30 minutes at 122 degrees. When i took them out to brown them, they were very fragile. As I browned them they fell apart. They were delicious, perfectly cooked from an eating point of view, but ugly. Too hot, too long or both?

Edited by Smithy
Added tag (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, boudin noir said:

I recently did some halibut steaks sous vide. They were about 1 1/2  inches thick. I did them for 30 minutes at 122 degrees. When i took them out to brown them, they were very fragile. As I browned them they fell apart. They were delicious, perfectly cooked from an eating point of view, but ugly. Too hot, too long or both?

I think it important to ask yourself if browning is really necessary. Yes, indeed for steaks and chops but for fish?  Perhaps a good sprinkling of a herb, some paprika or even a sauce would be a better choice. I think it is presentation that I would be aiming for rather than adding additional flavour by browning for a fish such as halibut.  YMMV

  • Like 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How did you brown them?  I would try 25 minutes sous vide with herbs, then carefully brown one side in foaming butter. If that failed, I'd have to wonder about the history of the fish, perhaps poorly frozen then thawed quickly.

Edited by jayt90 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/28/2016 at 7:26 PM, jayt90 said:

How did you brown them?  I would try 25 minutes sous vide with herbs, then carefully brown one side in foaming butter. If that failed, I'd have to wonder about the history of the fish, perhaps poorly frozen then thawed quickly.

 

Very hot cast iron pan with grape seed oil. Browned in 1 minute then fell apart. The brown bits did taste good; in fact the whole thing was great except for is appearance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>>fell apart . . .

 

yup.  that's what fish does.

you might recognize the phrase:  "until flaky" or "until it flakes apart"

seems you cooked it quite right!

 

get a large spatula - something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Outset-QB59-Rosewood-Slotted-Spatula/dp/B000GBLPO8?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000GBLPO8&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=as_li_tf_tl&tag=albin-20

 

_not_ stuff like this:

http://spatulamart.com/brand/oxo-kitchen-spatulas/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Taveren said:

Restaurants don't cook fish sous vide, so why are you?

 

I am not a restaurant so I cannot comment on the veracity of the assertion.  I have successfully cooked whole gutted trout sous vide, and before that cooked whole gutted trout, with some difficulty, in a fish poacher on the stove at a controlled temperature.

 

What is your point?  Sous vide works well for fish, whether restaurants employ the technique or not.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Taveren said:

I have five Michelin stars on my resume.  Sous vide does not work well for fish.  End of story.

 

Tell that to Thomas Keller who has a whole chapter devoted to it in his SV cookbook.

Edited by Shalmanese (log)
  • Like 4

PS: I am a guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Shalmanese said:

 

Tell that to Thomas Keller who has a whole chapter devoted to it in his SV cookbook.

 

Beat me to it.

Of course SV works well for fish. May be better for some than for others. Certainly makes cooking fish easier for the less skilled.

But what a dumb thing to argue about.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got some advice for you, as someone who does sous vide in my pro kitchen, and yes, I sous vide fish all the time. It can be wonderful. 

 

Number one thing: Make sure you are sourcing quality seafood. You may have gotten previously frozen halibut, which can lead to a mushy texture and a greater chance of flaking apart. That is probably your #1 thing to do, source better fish. 

 

We "cure" out fish for about 30-45 minutes before we bag it. I say "cure" because we don't do a traditional, heavy-ish cure on it, like if we were going to smoke it or dry it, for example. We make a pretty basic salt/sugar mix (I use 2 parts salt to 1 part sugar) and whatever herbs and spices you'd like. Dill is great, thyme is great, sometimes I use a black pepper/coriander/fennel seed mixture. I usually blend this with the salt/sugar mix and then sprinkle it on the fish. We generally eyeball it, but we season the fish as if we were seasoning it for immediate cooking, if that makes sense. So it is not as heavy as a salt cure (again, for smoking/making lox/etc) but it is probably more cure mix than a "normal" home cook might put on it. I wish I had a better description, but basically we sprinkle it on pretty heavy like we were going to go straight into the pan. I hope I make sense. 

 

There are a few reasons why we do this. First, it seasons the fish and makes it taste better, obvi. It also pulls out some protein rich liquid, which helps prevent a lot of the albumin protein from coagulating on the fish as it cooks. Basically, when ever you cook fish sous vide (or any other way, really) you get a egg white looking protein leech out of the fish. This is totally normal--most people notice it the most on salmon but it happens a lot on halibut too--but leeching out some of that protein rich liquid by salting ahead of time prevents this. You will still most likely get SOME albumin, but it really cuts down on it and makes the final appearance easier to clean up and look nicer. It also firms up the flesh of the fish, making it less prone to flaking apart after it is cooked--which is a big deal when cooking fish sous vide. We then bag it with whatever fat and aromatics we are using for the dish. Duck fat, pork fat, butter, EVOO, are all options. Dill and thyme are my favorite herbs. 

 

I generally don't sear my sous vide halibut (I do for salmon on the skin side only), but curing the fish should help quite a bit. Just make sure your oil is hot and try not to move the fish in the pan until it releases. I usually like to add texture to the plate in other ways other than searing, but again, this should help. A hot cast iron pan (well seasoned) should work just fine. You might try gently patting the fish dry before you sear, as moisture on the outside of the fish could cause it to stick. 

 

Good luck. 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Qwerty

Thank you.  That is so much more helpful and generous than snide remarks. 

  • Like 5

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The albumin issue is a big one when I steam/poach salmon. Often lots of milky stuff spoiling the look of a great piece of fish. Oil coating helps a little. What @Qwerty says makes great sense. Next time Ima cure the salmon first.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Qwerty said:

I got some advice for you, as someone who does sous vide in my pro kitchen, and yes, I sous vide fish all the time. It can be wonderful. 

 

Number one thing: Make sure you are sourcing quality seafood. You may have gotten previously frozen halibut, which can lead to a mushy texture and a greater chance of flaking apart. That is probably your #1 thing to do, source better fish. 

 

We "cure" out fish for about 30-45 minutes before we bag it. I say "cure" because we don't do a traditional, heavy-ish cure on it, like if we were going to smoke it or dry it, for example. We make a pretty basic salt/sugar mix (I use 2 parts salt to 1 part sugar) and whatever herbs and spices you'd like. Dill is great, thyme is great, sometimes I use a black pepper/coriander/fennel seed mixture. I usually blend this with the salt/sugar mix and then sprinkle it on the fish. We generally eyeball it, but we season the fish as if we were seasoning it for immediate cooking, if that makes sense. So it is not as heavy as a salt cure (again, for smoking/making lox/etc) but it is probably more cure mix than a "normal" home cook might put on it. I wish I had a better description, but basically we sprinkle it on pretty heavy like we were going to go straight into the pan. I hope I make sense. 

 

There are a few reasons why we do this. First, it seasons the fish and makes it taste better, obvi. It also pulls out some protein rich liquid, which helps prevent a lot of the albumin protein from coagulating on the fish as it cooks. Basically, when ever you cook fish sous vide (or any other way, really) you get a egg white looking protein leech out of the fish. This is totally normal--most people notice it the most on salmon but it happens a lot on halibut too--but leeching out some of that protein rich liquid by salting ahead of time prevents this. You will still most likely get SOME albumin, but it really cuts down on it and makes the final appearance easier to clean up and look nicer. It also firms up the flesh of the fish, making it less prone to flaking apart after it is cooked--which is a big deal when cooking fish sous vide. We then bag it with whatever fat and aromatics we are using for the dish. Duck fat, pork fat, butter, EVOO, are all options. Dill and thyme are my favorite herbs. 

 

I generally don't sear my sous vide halibut (I do for salmon on the skin side only), but curing the fish should help quite a bit. Just make sure your oil is hot and try not to move the fish in the pan until it releases. I usually like to add texture to the plate in other ways other than searing, but again, this should help. A hot cast iron pan (well seasoned) should work just fine. You might try gently patting the fish dry before you sear, as moisture on the outside of the fish could cause it to stick. 

 

Good luck. 

 

 

Thanks.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"""    makes cooking fish easier for the less skilled  ""

 

fish is one of the more tricky items to cook.   a little too long in the heat and its ruined.  SV solves this problem.

 

it can also be done in advance and rapidly chilled then reheated.

 

not all fish does as well in the SV.   but oily fish does very well.

 

as mentioned above, make sure its very fresh.  what's very fresh ?  it should have no odor what so ever

 

if its already been cut up.

Edited by rotuts (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/2/2016 at 1:26 AM, Taveren said:

Restaurants don't cook fish sous vide, so why are you?

 

I know of at least one restaurant that does....

 

Salmon is a big seller, especially among our aging population.  104F makes a great app for the metros. Pre-portioned and SV filets have virtually eliminated send backs for over cooking, under cooking.  I cook it SV at home as well.  I like it seared, some don't.

 

Also great as prep for fish tacos with any fish.  (Most popular food truck dish)

 

For halibut, I would portion fish then bag it.  Brief SV as described above.  Sear in pan or with torch, sauce, garnish and serve.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By Anonymous Modernist 16589
      I'm looking to buy some new pots and pans and would like to tap into your knowledege and experiance with them. Which pans tend to yield the best and most consistant results. Same for pots. Any and all recommendations would be greatly appriciated, thank you in advance.
      Herman 8D
    • By Doodad
      Has anybody tried making a dark roux in a pressure cooker? Can this be done without scortching do you think? I have made roux in the oven before and started wondering about this topic.
    • By kostbill
      I really want to improve the flavor of my chicken breast so I want to try to inject brine with fat and flavors.
       
      I would like to try brining with some hydrocolloids. The one example I found is this: https://torontofoodlab.com/2013/08/20/meat-tenderizing-with-a-carrageenan-brine/.
       
      However I cannot apply that to my chicken breast because I am cooking it sous vide, so the chicken will not reach the temperature needed for the carrageenan to gel.
       
      I am thinking of using Methyl cellulose, first disperse in hot water, then leave it for 24 hours in the fridge, then add salt, fat and flavors and inject it.
      I am afraid that until it reaches the 50C or 60C that the Methyl cellulose needs in order to gel, the liquid will escape.
      Any ideas?
      Thanks.
    • By Anonymous Modernist 760
      Thanks for putting up this forum 🙂
      I would like to bake using a combination of sous vide and a conventional oven. Would it be possible to put the dough in a vacuum bag cook it sous vide at 37C for the dough to raise optimal and then put it in a conventional oven?
      Thanks
    • By Chef Hermes Blog
      Warm Onion Bavarois
      * 300g Sweet Onion purée
      * 250g Whole milk
      * 150g Whipping cream
      * 150g Chicken stock (or fresh vegetable nage, not stock cubes)
      * 3.5g Gellan gum
      * Seasoning
      Lightly grease with vegetable oil the moulds you intend to use (darioles, ramekins etc) and set to one side.
      In a pan (but not on the heat), whisk together all the ingredients.
      Place on a medium heat and whisk continuously, the mix will start to thicken slightly. Carry on whisking for a further 3-4 minutes when it has started to bubble. Then quickly pour into the greased moulds & chill.
      To reheat for serving, just place the ramekin in a pan of water and simmer gently for 8-10 mins.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...