Sunday, September 9, 2012

Perfect Sous Vide Tuna

I'm always futzing with my tuna-cooking technique in our family-favorite recipe of Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce.  The recipe for the sauce is pretty much perfect as written (except I make a double-batch of sauce for 6 servings... because it's that good and I always want guests to get as much as they want...), but the prescribed method of cooking the tuna is kind of stupid.  After playing around with a few methods, I have finally found The One, giving me just a couple millimeters of sear on the outside with an interior that is warm and bright pink all the way through.
The key to this technique was to partially freeze the tuna steaks (for about 30-60 minutes... we just threw them in the freezer while we enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail on the patio) before searing in a very hot pan.  (This prevents the interior from overcooking while you get a good sear.)  From here you chill again for a few minutes before vacuum sealing and throwing into a 110°F water bath for 30 minutes.  This is the only way I'll be doing my tuna steaks from now on...  Perfection!

Oh, and by the way, this is my new favorite method for steak, too.  I like my steak on the rare side of medium rare (128°F internal temp, to be exact).  I partially froze a rib-eye then seasoned it and charred it up nice and flavorful on the grill...  From here it went right into the freezer to fast-chill before being vacuum-sealed and cooked sous vide at 128°F for 5 hours...
That may look startlingly red to some, but it's exactly right for me and the texture was perfection and the temperature was consistent throughout, which is one of the most fun things about cooking steak sous vide.  Good times...

3 comments:

Aner Gabay said...

Great post!
I tried sous-vidding red tuna at 137 deg. Of course it came out completely cooked... I just wanted it pasteurized...
Do you deal with safety at all?
And why not Sous-vidding it and the searing?

Thanks in advance...

emmo said...

Hi Aner,

The chart here: http://www.sousvidecooking.org/core-temperature-and-time-give-by-icc-roner-for-cooking-sous-vide/ shoots for a final internal temperature of just over 100F for their tuna (with a water bath temp of 122F). I tend to just trust the published temperatures when it comes to safety, and also I only make this with tuna I'd be happy to eat raw.

As for the order of things, I used to sous vide and then sear, but I found that, with the tuna already at my desired internal temperature, it was easy for the meat closer to the exterior to overcook while I was attempting to get the sear that I wanted. By searing super-cold tuna first you don't have to worry about that, and then the sous vide step brings the whole thing up to perfection. =)

Aner Gabay said...

Amazing link! Thanks for the answer :)