Before i proceed any further, i must put forth the disclaimer that i have not purchased the product from Taobao that i am introducing today. I still own and use the Anova circulator i have gotten many years ago.
My Anova still works flawlessly, but the clamp for holding it to the pot has broken off. Having used a Sous Vide circulator, though only on and off, i think it’s actually quite worthwhile owning one.
Anova sells the stasher silicone bag for S$28. Way too expensive. Unfortunately, you can’t find the exact same product on Taobao, yet. The closest alternative i found is this one meant for kneading dough, costing only 13.5 Yuan (S$2.70).
I’m taking it for a spin on a Pork Collar slab. The medium sized bag is perfect. I might buy the small sized bag as well in the future, for smaller cuts of pork or beef.
Here’s something your Anova Precision Cooker can’t do: you can’t dip it directly into your food. If you want to cook something soupy, you’ll still have to dump everything into a bag and cook the bagful of liquid in a water bath. This is where a crock pot trumps the water bath Sous Vide. Also, if you’re worried about plastic leeching into your food, then you can be free of worry if you use the crock pot method.
I had leftover pork vinegar soup and i was going to cook it with some pork and serve it with Mee Sua. I particularly dislike dry and streaky meat, and cooking meat at high heat for an extended time results in exactly that, so i was wondering, why not do it Sous Vide. And then i remembered that i do have a temperature controller sitting around.
The seriouseats guide to barbeque pork ribs gives a good estimate of the temperature and timing for cooking, and i set my cooking temperature at around 65 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, i don’t have the 24 to 36 hours of cooking time needed to arrive at the desirable tenderness. With only 9 hours of cooking time, the meat was meaty and still a little tough. Given the limited time i knew i had, i should have chosen a higher cooking temperature.
If i had left the crock pot cooking at the low setting, without the intervention of the temperature controller, the fatty parts would become melt-in-the-mouth tender, which is very nice, but the meaty parts would become streaky. I know because i tried when doing the Tonkotsu ramen broth.
Anyway, i will certainly try this cooking method again for braising meat.
This was largely an experiment to see if i can get better texture from cooking frozen Grouper Sous Vide instead of traditional steaming. I will jump straight to the conclusion: the improvement was very good but still inadequate in comparison to steamed fresh fish. Also, it introduced another problem – the fish skin ended up undercooked. I guess the underlying problem remains the same, which is, frozen fishes are too dry to be suitable for doing Chinese traditional steamed fish. You should only do deep or pan frying with them.
Just for your information, i roughly based the cooking temperature and timing on a recipe meant for Cod fillets, cooking at 55°C for 30 minutes for a 600-700g whole Grouper.
This is an experiment to see if Sous Vide can produce an improved texture for frozen pork belly. I largely followed the steps from Chefsteps (here and here), brining the pork for almost a week and cooking at 75°C for 7 hours. I must say I am pleased with the result. Continue reading Sous Vide Pork Belly
I’m still on my quest for homemade cheese fries, and this time I pretty much got the result I wanted. Believe it or not, making cheese sauce is the most difficult part. I have previously tried the Bechamel method but never got satisfactory results. I guess it takes quite a bit of practice to arrive at the right consistency. Continue reading Sous Vide cheese sauce
I bought a packet of beef seasoning during my trip to Korea. I thought i should give it a try as a steak marinade. Anyway, obviously i can’t read a single word on the packaging, so i have no idea how this was to be used. I applied it (powder form) directly onto the slab of beef. On hindsight, i probably should have made a liquid marinade out of the seasoning. The steak turned out a little too saltish, especially because i applied salt in addition to the seasoning. Continue reading Korean marinated Sous Vide steak
As with the Airfryer, this was a product that took a bit of deliberation before a decision was made to buy. Not that it is expensive, but I wouldn’t buy something I don’t need just because it’s cheap. And it is actually quite cheap for what it is, setting me back by 118 Yuan (S$24). This was the cheapest price i found on Taobao, from this seller. I also bought pouches for vacuum sealing from the same seller. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – vacumm food sealer