|Ingredients for vegetarian "scallops": king oyster mushrooms, thyme sprigs, crushed garlic cloves, butter|
- You can cook any ingredient, provided you know what internal temperature you want
- Ingredients are cooked extremely uniformly and reproducibly
- As opposed to boiling the ingredient directly in the water bath, sealing in a pouch allows for concentration of added flavors
- Once a desired internal temperature is reached, most ingredients have a large window of error before they become "overcooked" or texture is compromised
|My Anova Sous-Vide|
What these benefits translate to is that cooking things like thick steaks to precise done-ness is now foolproof. Accompanying apps provide recommended internal temperatures and rough cook times for a wide array of ingredients. Cooking virtually any ingredient is as easy as bagging it up, filling a pot with water, starting the sous-vide, and coming back at your leisure.
|Butter and thyme-marinated king oyster mushroom seared "scallops"|
To illustrate the benefits of this technique, one of the earliest things I tried cooking were king oyster mushrooms, which I have had troubles with in the past. For these, I placed 5 whole mushrooms in a ziploc bag with ~1.5 tbsp butter (vegan alternatives can be used), along with crushed garlic cloves and whole thyme sprigs. The air from the bag can be removed using techniques like this. I then set the Anova to 185 F and let it run for 45 minutes-1 hour. After that, I removed the mushrooms, cut them on a bias, seasoned the outsides with a pinch of salt, and gave them a quick sear in a hot pan with oil, 3-5 minutes per side. The finished product looked scallop-like, had an amazing crispy-outside, buttery soft interior texture, and had a deep flavor of butter and thyme flavor throughout. Be sure to give it a try and let me know of any other neat sous-vide ideas!