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How to Sous Vide: Fish

Retain the vibrant color, texture, and juiciness of fish through the precise sous vide method.


One of the healthiest foods around, fish boasts a number of healthy benefits. For one, fish is loaded with important nutrients such as protein and vitamin D, and it’s a winning source of omega-3 fatty acids, which doctors say lowers the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and many other health-related conditions. Plus, there’s considerable evidence that eating fish may help prevent and treat depression. While we can’t promise that eating fish will make you happier, we can attest to the best way to cook it—sous vide, of course.

A word from the wise: the experts at Cuisine Solutions recommend never setting a temperature below 130℉ (54℃) for food safety reasons. For well-done fish, cook at 143℉; for medium, set your circulator between 140℉ and 142℉; and for rare fish set the temperature between 135℉ and 139℉.

Oil-Rich Fish Varieties

When it comes to taste, color, and heart-healthiness, oil-rich fish leads the pack. Fish in this category includes salmon, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Depending on the way you like your fish cooked—and sous vide cooking offers options—a variation of just a few degrees can affect the dish’s end result. If you’re cooking more than one piece of fish, cook each piece in separate pouches so they don’t stick together.

Try This Recipe: Pavé Salmon Confit

White, Lean & Firm Varieties

Fish in this category include cod, halibut, and swordfish. Much like steak, these fish are easy to overcook, so be mindful of your temperature. Before you put it in the pouch, be sure to season with salt and oil if desired. If you add herbs like thyme, parsley, or dill, use it sparingly as you do not need as much as traditional cooking (since no flavors are escaping from the pouch). After cooking, to add a bit of crunch, you can finish it in pan under high heat for 30 seconds.

Try This Recipe: Wood Skin Halibut & Chickpea Salad

White, Lean & Flaky Varieties

Fish in this variety include black sea bass (branzino), red snapper, and tilapia. Before placing your fish in the sous vide pouch, add a teaspoon of butter per fillet, your favorite herbs (dill and thinly sliced shallots work well). To finish, sear in butter or olive oil for around 30 seconds on each side.

Try This Recipe: Pontarlier-Anis Branzino

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