Perhaps when you first saw the term “sous vide”, you thought it was just another fancy French dish or dessert. You are right about the fancy and French part, for sous vide (pronounced as sue-veed) is used to describe a form of cooking that originated from France and I know for sure that the food done through the sous vide method could be very fancy.
What does it mean to cook sous vide?
The 3 main characteristics that sets cooking sous vide apart from other cooking methods are as follows:
- The cooking of food in a consistently low temperature,
- With the food being separated from the heating environment with an additional protective layer,
- That is partially or fully vacuumed to mimic pressure cooking.
Essentially, this means cooking your food in a heat-safe zip lock bag in a water bath with a regulated and consistent temperature.
What are the benefits of cooking sous vide?
You can’t really go wrong with it
- There are tons of tried and tested sous vide recipes on the web (including the ones that I will be sharing with you below), where all you must do is throw in the necessary ingredients in the vacuum pack, toss it in your sous vide machine or water bath with an immersion circulator and you are good to go! (Which brings me to my next point…)
You save lots of time
- Throughout the entire cooking process, you don’t have to be there. All you need is a timer that alerts you as to when the dish is ready, and you can go about doing whatever you want, whether it’s work, guests to attend to or shows to catch up on. Now you get to enjoy a great meal without having to put in tons of time to prepare it!
You get tastier food
- Given that the sous vide cooking process consists of sealing your food in a vacuumed bag, whatever you’re cooking will be soaking in its own juices. All the flavours that would have otherwise been lost in a traditional cooking method, the sous vide process retains it.
You get healthier food
- As mentioned in the previous point, since you won’t be losing any flavour when cooking sous vide, you can cut down on the seasoning too! Less seasoning means less weight on your hips. Cooking your food in a vacuumed bag also ensures that no minerals and vitamins are lost during the entire sous vide cooking process.
You can cater to others’ specific preferences
- Does the following scenario sound familiar to you? Your mum doesn’t want the vegetable to be heavily seasoned because of her health. You like your vegetable spicy, but you know the rest of your family can’t take the level of heat that you can. Your kids don’t eat vegetables without any meat to go with it. With the vacuumed bag the sous vide cooking method uses, you can now cater to everyone’s needs all at once without having to cook it multiple times!
I’m sold, what are some sous vide recipes I can use right now?
We scoured the web to find some basics that we think you will keep going back to again and again because of how simple they are:
Sous Vide Mushrooms
What makes mushrooms so appealing is that mushrooms are the only vegan and non-fortified source for Vitamin D, and Vitamin D has been known to be exceptionally important for a healthy pregnancy and healthy infants. Lack of Vitamin D would put babies at risk of diseases like asthma and eczema, while putting pregnant women at risk of developing preeclampsia.
Eat them as it is or use them as a component to your dish (e.g. an omelette), this is a staple for every meal.
Sous Vide Soft-Boiled Eggs
Another food item essential for pregnant women or breast-feeding mums, eggs are a rich source of choline which promotes normal brain development in your child.
Something supposedly so simple to make, don’t you just hate it when some soft-boiled eggs are too hard, and some are way undercooked, making the rare occasions where you do come across a perfect one seem like a gem? With this recipe, make the perfect soft-boiled egg anytime you want to!
Sous Vide Vegetables
Every meal should ideally contain some greens to make it a balanced one, so here’s a recipe for that. Decide if you like your vegetables crunchy or tender by adjusting the temperature accordingly.
Sous Vide Potatoes
Known to contain dietary fibres, potatoes are a great “bulking agent” that helps reduce your appetite, aiding in weight management as you feel full for longer!
As for how you wish to enjoy it, a snack or a side, you decide. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, this is basically a French fry minus all the oil you would otherwise need to deep fry it in.
Sous Vide Chicken Breast
Contrary to popular belief, eating chicken breast does not have to be a workout on its own (because we all know how dry and tough it can get). Now with sous vide cooking, a tender and juicy chicken breast isn’t hard to accomplish anymore! Coupled with the fact that the same amount of chicken thigh contains double the amount of fat compared to chicken breast, doesn’t this make chicken breast sound a whole lot more appealing?
Sous Vide Steak
High in iron which most of us ladies are lacking, red meat contains heme iron which is easily absorbed by the body. Iron is vital for our blood health due to the amount of blood we lose monthly through our periods.
Now you can enjoy restaurant quality steak for half the price (or less) without having to set foot out of your house.
Sous Vide Oreo Cheesecake
Who said you can only use the sous vide cooking process for savoury meals? Here’s a dessert recipe for you to ensure that you end off your sous vide meal with a sweet note.
Feel free to share in the comments section below some other sous vide recipes that you’ve tried for yourself – we’d love to know!
Jia Qi Chua
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