The French term ‘sous vide’ is becoming increasingly popular in gourmet kitchens. At our recent seafood event The Boiling Point 2019, which witnessed skilful chefs from 20 luxe Bangalore hotels unleashing their culinary talent, brands like ITC Windsor Bengaluru, Hilton Bangalore Embassy Golflinks and Conrad Bengaluru utilised the sous vide technique to dish out an array of seafood exoticas. Captivated as we were with the flavours and textures of the multitude of seafood presentations, we were also left thinking as to what exactly sous vide is? Certainly not a traditional cooking technique in India.
We thought of decoding it and connected with Prakash Lopes, Executive Sous Chef from Sofitel Mumbai BKC, one of the newest premium properties in India’s Maximum City.
Here’s what Chef Lopes says, “Sous vide is a French term which denotes the under vacuum method of cooking. Food is packed in an air-tight plastic zip-lock bag, or in a pouch, or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath on slow temperature for a long time. The cooking process is gradual and controlled. This helps the food to cook alongside its own juices and leaves the end product soft and moist. The key is to carefully monitor the heat and gently bring the food to the right temperature without overcooking it.”
Although sous vide is more popular while cooking meat and seafood, the technique can be used for veggies like beets, carrots, potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, leeks and green beans as well. “Vegetables play a prime role for sous vide cookery. Sealing veggies in a plastic bag ensures there is no evaporation and this means the food is cooked with its own juices, which enhances the taste. Sous vide allows us to cook green vegetables till they are crisp and root veggies till they are tender.”