Halibut is a large saltwater fish has become a favorite of restaurant chefs for its thick fillets that cook likesteak. However, just like steaks, Halibut fillets are very easy to overcook since its meat is very fragile. If you have tried cooking halibut using conventional methods yourself, I am sure you must have struggled with reaching a medium rare center.
Fortunately, there is a simple method you can try to get perfectly cooked Halibut every time, and that isby cooking with sous vide. Read on to find out all you need to know about cooking Sous Vide Halibut.
What Is Sous Vide
Before we start getting into this Sous Vide Halibut tutorial, let us first discuss what a Sous Vide is. SousVide is a French word that roughly translates to “Under Vacuum.” It is a cooking technique that involves food being placed inside plastic pouches that are completely submerged in a water bath that is set at acontrolled temperature.
The Sous Vide technique has easily become one of the most relied upon cooking methods in high-endrestaurants today because of its efficiency when it comes to cooking fragile pieces of meats andvegetables. Needless to say, cooking foods with Sous Vide will help you get full flavors without having togo through the complexities that often come with cooking.
What You Will Need
Before we start, you should first prepare these following ingredients and materials:
As I have mentioned before, Halibut is a large salt water fish. Because of its large size, you will often find freshly cut inch-thick fillets right at your local supermarket or fish market. If you have not tried picking out your Halibut fillets yourself, I suggest you look for fillets no thinner than half an inch so that you would get a decent bite-size amount with every slice.
Another thing I recommend is getting the fillets cut from near the fish’s center since it tends tobe more even than the ones cut from near the tail. You may also want to get Halibut fillets without the skin so that the meat can easily absorb the marinade. If you do however get fillets with the skin intact, you may just peel the skin back after cooking it with the Sous Vide.
For this recipe, you will need an ample amount of fish stock to make a marinade that will completely cover your Halibut fillets. You can easily get a can or jar of fish stock from your local supermarket. You do not need to use any specific brand, any type will do just fine.
But if you want to use fresh fish stock, you can easily whip up a batch before hand by simmering some fish heads with a bunch of vegetables and spices in water for a couple of hours.
You will need about two tablespoons of whole butter to make a zesty marinade for your Halibut fillets. Whole butter is easy to find, you can get a pack of whole butter from your local supermarket or farmer’s market. If you have the access to both, I recommend you go and buy whole butter from the farmer’s market instead of the supermarket since ones sold at the farmer’s market tend to be freshly made and purely organic.
Salt to Taste
Salt is just one of those ingredients that you should always have in your kitchen because it is a seasoning necessity. When cooking, I always prefer to use Pink Himalayan salt. Unlike other salts you can find in the market today, Pink Himalayan salt is in its purest form, and is the healthiest of all salts in the market. You can easily find some Pink Himalayan salt at your local supermarket or online for just a couple of bucks.
Pinch of Saffron
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices being used in the cooking world today. It has a very distinct aroma and flavor that can turn any dish into a gourmet meal. Another great thing about Saffron is its vibrant color that adds an extra flare to the dish. Just like other ingredients on this list, you can easily get some Saffron from your local supermarket. You will not need much, just a pinch or two will do.
Orange and Lemon Zest
This Sous Vide Halibut recipe that I’m about to share with you is a summer dish that contains the zesty flavors of Orange and Lemons. To make this fresh tasting Halibut dish, you will need the zest of one Orange and one Lemon. You can easily get the zest of Orange and Lemons by using your normal cheese grater. To do so, just thoroughly cleanse your fruits with water, and lightly grate it with your cheese grater.
You will need a small amount of fresh mint leaves to add a fresh taste to this Halibut dish. If you have a potted mint plant in your home, you can snag a couple of leaves from it and rinse it with water as you prepare to cook. Otherwise, you can get a pack of fresh mint leaves from your local supermarket or farmer’s market. Take note that when handling mint leaves, you should avoid bruising the leaves to get its maximum flavor when cooking.
This Sous Vide Halibut recipe will include a tomato compote for added color, texture, and flavor.You will need about nine small tomatoes or five big ones cut into smaller chunks. But before you proceed to cut, wash your tomatoes thoroughly first by running it under water. Once you start cutting the tomatoes, do not remove the pulp inside. Though the tomato meat packs a sweet flavor, its juicy pulp contains most of it juices that make for a great compote.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great ingredient that you can use to bring all the flavors of the dish together. You will need an ample amount of extra virgin olive oil for this Sous Vide Halibut recipe because you will use it to marinade all of the ingredients. I suggest you get a large bottle of extra virgin olive oil so that you would not risk not having enough. Besides, you can use what you have left to cook other meals or to make healthy and flavorful sauces or dressings.
Basil leaves are the perfect complement to any dish with tomatoes. You can easily get some fresh basil leaves from the supermarket or your local farmer’s market. If you don’t have access to fresh basil leaves, you can always use dried ones. However, you must take note that dried herbs pack more flavors. This means that you need to be wary of how much you will use to avoid getting an overpowering flavor for your dish.
You will need two or three pieces of zucchini to make this gourmet style Sous Vide Halibut. You will be using the zucchinis to create ribbons or noodles if you will, to make as a base for the dish.If you haven’t tried buying zucchinis before, you should choose ones with a very dark green color. Also, don’t forget to thoroughly wash your zucchinis by running them under water as you prepare your ingredients before you get on cooking.
You will need a couple cloves of garlic to make your tomato compote. If you are going to buy garlic, do choose ones with smaller cloves. Unlike ones with large cloves, small cloves of garlic tend to give off a more aromatic smell. When preparing the garlic cloves, remove the skin by pressing onto the clove with the flat side of your knife. Doing so will release the garlic clove from its skin. Once peeled, chop your garlic cloves into small bits and pieces.
You will need a handy vegetable peeler to create thin slices of zucchini ribbons that you will use as a base for this dish. If you don’t have a vegetable peeler yet, I suggest you get one that has a horizontal blade. Unlike peelers with vertical blades, peelers with horizontal blades are easier to handle, and can produce slices that are even in width. It’s also less messy to use since you will be aiming it towards you. This means that the peels wouldn’t be flying away from you and you wouldn’t have to pick up bits and pieces that flung to your counter.
Zip lock bag
You will need three food grade zip lock bags that are big enough to accommodate the Halibut fillets, Zucchinis, and Tomatoes. You can easily get a food grade zip lock bag from your local supermarket. Before you get on cooking, make sure your zip lock bags are completely secure and free of any leaks. The Sous Vide cooking technique will require you to submerge your food filled zip lock bag in a water bath, this is why checking for leaks is very important.
What You Should Do
Once you have gathered all your ingredients, here are the 7 simple steps that you need to follow inorder to make a gourmet Sous Vide Halibut dish.
Step 1: Preheat Your Sous Vide
First thing’s first, set up your Sous Vide machine and preheat it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You maythink that 140 degrees Fahrenheit is too low for cooking, but since you are using a Sous Vide machine,you don’t need to set a high temperature because unlike conventional cooking methods, the Sous Videmachine provides even cooking with its water bath.
Step 2: Season and Marinade the Halibut Fillets
As you preheat your Sous Vide machine, next thing you need to do is simmer the fish stock, wholebutter, a pinch of saffron, orange zest, and mint leave over medium heat in a pot. While you are waitingfor the marinade to get warm in the pot, you should start seasoning the Halibut fillets with some salt.After simmering the Halibut marinade, place your fillets inside the zip lock bag and pour the marinadeinside the bag. Seal the zip lock bag and set it aside.
Step 3: Season The Zucchini
The next ingredient you will need to prepare is the Zucchini. Place your zucchinis inside a separate ziplock bag and then add a pinch of salt, lemon zest, and extra virgin olive oil. When adding youringredients in the zip lock bag, make sure that you each zucchini is covered with the seasoning.Once the zucchinis are in place, carefully seal your zip lock bag and set it aside.
Step 4: Make The Tomato Compote
In a separate pot, simmer some garlic in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. As you simmer yourgarlic, add some salt for seasoning. While simmering the garlic, place your freshly sliced tomatoes insidea separate zip lock bag and add in a pinch of salt and fresh basil.Once the garlic has been simmered and browned, add it into the zip lock bag and thoroughly mix it with the tomatoes. After mixing the ingredients in the bag, seal it and set aside.
Step 5: Vacuum Seal The Food Zip lock Bags
Make sure that all the ingredients are evenly placed inside their separate zip lock bags. Once the foodsare in place, it’s now time to vacuum seal them. Don’t worry if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you caneasily do so with the use of a pot filled with water.To vacuum seal your zip lock bags, simply unzip it and make a small opening that is about an inch inlength. Next thing you should do is slowly submerge the zip lock bag until the bag seals itself tightlyaround the food. Slowly submerge the zip lock bag until all the air inside it is gone, and zip it shut onceagain. Be careful not to completely submerge your zip lock bag in water when doing this, you wouldn’twant any water to actually get inside the zip lock bags.
Step 6: Place The Zip lock Bags in The Sous Vide
After vacuum sealing each zip lock bag, you can now start cooking your food in the Sous Vide. The firstbag that should go in your Sous Vide is the zucchini. Place it inside the Sous Vide bath for 12 minutes.After 12 minutes, add the Halibut and tomato compote bag in the Sous Vide bath and continue to cookall of the ingredients for another 12 minutes.
Step 7: Plate The Ingredients
After cooking the food in the Sous Vide bath, you may now remove the bags from the bath and set themaside for plating. The first step to plating this Sous Vide Halibut dish is using a vegetable peeler to make ribbon-like noodles from your zucchini. Once you have made several ribbon slices from your zucchini,place the ribbon slices on the bottom of your plate in a folded manner.
After plating the zucchini, take your Halibut fillet and place it on top of your zucchini ribbons. Next, topoff your Halibut fillet with the tomato compote and drizzle it with the Halibut fillet marinade. To finishplating the dish, garnish it with some fresh basil and mint leaves.
The Final Thought
Now that you have reached this part of the article, I hope that you have enough information to confidently cook a gourmet style Sous Vide Halibut. Remember, even though Halibut is an ingredient that is hard to perfectly cook, you can always cook it just right every time through the Sous Vide method. If you are feeling extra confident, you may even try cooking other types of food with your Sous Vide machine.If you thought this article was helpful, please share it with our friends or leave us your feedback in the comment box below. Happy reading!