Sous vide is:
A. An appliance you don’t think you need
B. A word you can’t pronounce
C. French for ‘boil in a bag’
D. All of the above
My friend Rose introduced me to the sous vide, pronounced soo-veed, and as I suspected, it’s essentially a snooty way of saying ‘boil in a bag’. Said sample came with a pork chop she made using the sous vide method and I was hooked. Rose’s pork chops were perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cooked pork chops that were beautifully brown and done on the outside but raw, leathery and tasteless on the inside. (A Kardashian analogy leaps to mind.)
There are a couple out in the market but the sous vide I decided on is the Joule because Rose once said, “Joule love it. Joule be pleased by how good your food turns out.” I totally made that up. That never happened because Rose is far too awesome to use silly puns.
The best thing about Joule is how fool proof and reliable it is. I have cooked at least a dozen or so ribeyes this way and they have turned out perfectly each and every time. I have also cooked chicken thighs and results, same. The only thing I’m not crazy about is how there is no status indicator on the Joule itself, you need to look at your mobile device to check your food’s progress. But that small inconvenience is a first world problem that you can overlook.
No detailed recipes here because Joule is probably smarter than you and me. All I do is tell Joule how thick the ribeye is, whether it’s frozen or thawed and how done I want that steak. Joule does the rest.
- Marinate your ribeye
- Place in a vacuum sealed bag or gallon resealable Glad bags
- Immerse your vacuum sealed bag in a container tall enough to fully submerge your bag.
- If you’re using resealable bags, clip it to the side of your container to make sure no water seeps in
- Program your Joule and sous vide to desired doneness.
- Brown steak in a cast iron skillet or pan to give it that seared and crispy outside
- Enjoy your perfectly cooked, tender steak.
I took something called Conceptual Physics in high school. It’s not real Physics; it’s Physics without all the difficult equations and concepts are translated from math into English for those not ‘mathletically’ inclined like myself. In short, it’s Physics for dumdums. I have no shame in owning that. I had fun in high school, cut class a lot and saw the inside of Stonestown more than classrooms during my senior year. And I mostly turned out OK.
Baked sushi is like conceptual physics in that it is sushi for those of us who don’t have the means nor the patience and expertise to roll out real sushi. And it turns out better than OK. Allow me to compare and contrast:
- Real sushi is all about fresh, good quality fish like ahi tuna and hamachi.
- Baked sushi uses your seafood of choice, the cheaper the better like imitation crab, baby shrimp and salmon that has been roasted and flaked.
- Real sushi is perfectly structured; either rolled in seaweed, futo maki, or hand formed, nigiri .
- Baked sushi is a casserole–yep, I said casserole. No bamboo mats needed, only a spatula to evenly spread your fish over a thin layer of cooked rice.
3 c of cooked white rice
1 lb salmon, roasted and flaked
1 lb imitation crab
1/2 c Japanese mayo, Kewpie*
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 lb masago
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spread a thin layer of hot cooked rice on a 9×12 baking pan. Cold rice is hard to spread so ensure your rice is hot enough to spread with a rice paddle or spatula. Sprinkle furikake seasoning all over cooked rice. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and spread evenly over the rice with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the top of the seafood and mayo/sour cream mixture with more furikake seasoning. Bake for 20 minutes.
You can either eat right out of the pan or take a spoonful and wrap it inside some nori. Flavored nori comes in a jar of individually wrapped packets.
*You can substitute American mayo for the Japanese mayo. I just find that the Japanese variety is a little less tangy and creamier than its American cousin.
**Furikake is a dry Japanese seasoning with seaweed, sesame seeds, etc. I just found out that the ‘etc.’ is MSG and I now understand why it makes everything I put it on taste so good.
Baked sushi lovingly topped with some sriracha mayo