Sous Vide Shrimp Is Almost Impossible to Spoil
Hello friends and welcome back toWill It Sous Vide? , the column where I usually do whatever you want with my immersion circulator. This week we are preparing delicious crustaceans – shrimp in different ways.
For me, there is no such thing as “normal” shrimp – they are either cooked to a tender, slightly springy perfection, or they are elastic and just plain bad. In “traditional” cooking without sous-video, the difference between the two extremes is usually a few minutes, but again, precise temperature control and an airtight cooking environment help us achieve great results with minimal stress.
I love the shell of the shrimp, which means I had to remove the veins a bit, but that was the hardest part of the crustacean cooking project. To see how much flavor can be packaged in a pound of shrimp, I made three packs:
- Garlic Cream Bag: This took a little preparation. First, I sautéed five cloves of minced garlic in a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. When the garlic was soft and golden, I added half a glass of white wine and let it halve. I added this to a one pound bag of veined and shell shrimp seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of healthy red pepper flakes, and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- Old Bay Bag: One pound of shrimp with two tablespoons of butter and one teaspoon of Old Bay was all that was in this bag.
- A simple flavored baking soda bag: I read on Serious Eats that a little baking soda will give these little guys just a little of the bounce I love so much, so I tossed in a pound of shrimp and a half teaspoon. salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda before adding it to a bag with a couple of bay leaves, a few sprigs of tarragon and thyme, and three cloves of minced garlic.
All three of these bags were placed in a 135-degree sous-video bath for 15-30 minutes (more on that in a moment), and all three were delicious. However, I discovered – quite by accident – that the type of bag you pack the shrimp in, and how you pack it, go a long way in how evenly and quickly they cook.
Last night when I was preparing the first two batches of juicy sea beetles, I drank a few cocktails, which happens when you write in bars, not cafes. (In my defense, all coffee shops were closed.) When I returned home to start picking shrimp, I was alarmed to find that my roll of Food Saver bags had run out, and all I had left were weird zip parcels that I couldn’t figure out. how to seal in your slightly drunk state.
This means that the shrimp were just sitting in a pile, entangling all the tails. After about 15 minutes of cooking, the shrimp on the outside of the pile was nice and pink, but the shrimp at the center of Mount Shrimpi was still slightly raw and gray. It was easy to fix – I just had to shake the bag and toss it back into the tub for another 15 minutes – but this is something to keep in mind if you don’t have a vacuum sealer.
Of course, the next morning when I went to cook my last batch of shrimp, Sober Claire did what Tipsy Claire couldn’t and found another roll of vacuum bags that I know how to seal. There was a lot of joy.
Thus, I managed to arrange the last batch of curly crustaceans in a mostly uniform layer. After about 15 minutes in the bath, all the shrimp turned plump and pink. Even though it took another 15 minutes to prepare the bags without vacuum packing, I did not notice a difference in quality. As you can see in the slideshow below, all three games were great.
So, can I say with certainty what shrimp sous vide is? Yes, definitely I can, and I must add that this was the easiest and least stressful shrimp cooking experience I have ever had. Every bite of sea beetle that went across my lips was delicate, not rubbery at all, and soaked in that aroma blaster that I added to his matching bag. As for the baking soda, I loved the little bounce it gave the shrimp in the last bag, but whether you add it or not is a matter of personal preference. The soda-free prawns were very tender, tender little chunks, steamed, and Ofclair – who is from New England and has a lot of opinions on shellfish – said they were the best he had ever eaten. (Lest you think he said this to gain favor, know that he absolutely hated the pasta sauce I made a while ago and talked about it very loudly.)
Plus, if you add butter or olive oil to the bag, you have a fantastic sauce that can be mixed into the pasta like I did with the shrimp. Just add a little pasta water for the starch, and maybe another lump of butter, and toss in the noodles when they turn al dente. However, in order for these shrimp to taste their best, you don’t need the fat in your bag. The bag, which contained nothing but shrimp and aromas, was full of aroma, and in what scientists call “unnerving,” I didn’t miss the butter at all.
I find sous vide is a great way to prepare these things, especially if you have a lot of delicious dishes to cook. If you love serving shrimp cocktail at your holiday parties, I can’t recommend this method enough, but you don’t have to party to make great shrimp; No one would judge you for walking through a pound of it all alone. (Well, at least I wouldn’t.)