Tag Archives: Steak

The Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking

Sous Vide is a cooking technique in which an ingredient is heated at a consistent temperature in a water bath. Since the heat can be precisely controlled, the end results can accurately and consistently be predicted.

Sous-Vide

Photo by Hana Dibe

Why Sous Vide?

1. Timing

Anova Sous-Vide

Photo by Hana Dibe

Traditional cooking techniques involve using heat that is much hotter than the ideal internal temperature of the food. Think about how hot an oven, barbecue, or a frying pan gets compared to the temperature of food that is edible.

This means that timing is crucial. With traditional cooking methods, the surface of the food is always hotter than the internal temperature. When food is taken off the grill or the pan to rest and wait for the cooling of the surface, the center becomes warmer.

This is why when a roast is the perfect temperature when it’s taken out of the oven, it’s well overcooked by the time it’s sliced into.

With a water bath that is set to the exact internal temperature of the food, the surface and the internal temperature are always at equilibrium. The water bath is also at that temperature so there is no danger of ever overcooking.

Sous-Vide Ready Vacuum Packs

Photo by Hana Dibe

This means that one can have horrible timing without worrying about the result of whatever is being cooked.

What is even more convenient is that food can be cooked in advance and stored in the fridge until mealtime. This can take a lot of pressure off during busier times, like finals season.

2. Simplicity

Sous-Vide Torch Finishing

Photo by Hana Dibe

Cooking sous vide often requires a finishing step. It’s usually desirable to alter the surface texture on something cooked sous vide, like a steak.

A crunchy and deeply coloured exterior is one of the hallmarks of a great beefsteak, so an additional finishing step is required to achieve this after the sous vide cooking process. This can be done in various ways whether it be in the pan, under a broiler, or even a torch if you are feeling fancy.

3. Precision

Sous-Vide Steak

Photo by ChefSteps.

Everyone has a preference for how they like their steak. The difficulty lies in describing your preference to whoever is cooking the steak.

Everyone’s interpretation of popular steak adjectives like “rare”, “medium”, or “well done” is different. One person’s medium might be another person’s medium rare.

Although these adjectives have a degree of ambiguity, it’s pointless to be more specific when using traditional cooking techniques.

This is because even within one cooked steak, one can find areas that are cooked to a different degree of doneness. The center is invariably less done than the areas near the surface.

Not Sous-Vide Steak

Photo by Jessica Spengler

Quantitative measures allow us to be specific about the level of doneness we prefer. The ability to precisely control these measures allow even someone with little to no culinary skills to be more consistent than the most masterful of professional chefs using traditional cooking techniques.

Photo by ChefSteps

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Flank Steak with Bibimbap

I first had Bibimbap for the first time two summers ago. A good friend of mine who is also a foodie introduced me to it out of his kitchen. I’ve been regularly seeking out places to get my Bibimbap fix ever since. Kochujang sauce is used in many korean dishes however it is most noticeably used in Bibimbap. Personally, it is the sauce that makes Bibimbap irresistible.

Flank Steak with Bibimbap

 

When my friend introduced me to Bibimbap he did not have the red chilli paste necessary so he used spicy banana ketchup as a substitute. I find that every korean restaurant has their own version of Kochujang sauce but none of them were as good as the make shift sauce my friend had made for me. The spicy banana ketchup has a unique sweetness that I like and more importantly is packed with umami which enhances the flavour of the steak.

Flank Steak with Bibimbap

 

I sit the flank steak in between blanched spinach and the rice portion of the Bibimbap which consists of rice, green onion, carrots, zucchini, onion, and enoki mushrooms. The sauce consists of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, banana chilli ketchup, salt, and garlic.

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