Sous Vide, which means “under a vacuum” is a method of cooking proteins that involves sealing the protein with herbs, marinade or a sauce inside an airtight bag and cooking it inside a pot of hot water. The protein never comes into contact with the metal surface and the water never reaches a boil. A sous vide machine carefully controls the temperature to ensure it remains stable for the entire cook. The cooking process is low and gradual and it is near impossible to overcook your protein.
Instant Pot recently launched the Instant Pot Duo Plus which includes a sous vide function. It’s the biggest change to the Instant Pot Duo model and a much talked about function. Sous vide is a method I had never used before and I was excited to try it out. I used the Instant Pot Duo Plus to sous vide rainbow trout and the result was a perfectly slow-cooked and flaky piece of fish.
I seasoned the fish simply, just olive oil, salt and pepper and lemon – choosing to finish it off with a bright gremolata once it was cooked for a fresh burst of flavour. To seal the fish I used a Stasher reusable bag with as much air removed as possible. They’re BPA free, oven friendly and an eco-friendly option.
I cooked it for one hour at 54°C. I’ve been using this guide and have found it to be incredibly helpful with the temperature and time guidelines. I’ve also learnt that I prefer to go for the longer recommended times.
Once the fish was cooked, I removed it from the pouch and as it had skin on, seared each piece in a hot pan with some olive oil to get a perfect crispy skin. In sous vide cooking, this is called reverse searing and allows you to get a good sear on an already cooked piece of protein.
It’s a relatively simple method of cooking once you get the hang of it; and while it takes long, it requires very little hands on time. The whole process took just over two hours, including the time taken for the Instant Pot Duo Plus to come to temperature. Of that less than 30 minutes was hands on time.
Before I share the recipe, one note on the fish. I used rainbow trout; but you can switch it out with salmon. I find both cook and taste near identical.
Instant Pot Sous Vide Rainbow Trout with Mint Pistachio Gremolata
- 4 portions rainbow trout deboned, skin on
- olive oil
- freshly cracked salt and pepper
- 4 slices lemon
Mint Pistachio Gremolata
- 1 cup fresh parsely
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 3 tablespoon shelled pistachios
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon capers drained
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fill the inner pot of your Instant Pot with water to the max line. Place the steamer basket inside the pot.
- Place the lid on and press the sous vide function, adjust the temperature to 50°C. Press the sous vide button again and set the time to 1 hour. Wait for it to come up to temperature – it will beep and the countdown will begin once it is at the correct temperature.
- While it is coming to temperature prepare your fish. Drizzle the fish portions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a slice of lemon in the middle of each portion. Carefully place the fish inside a vacuum sealed bag, freezer bag or stasher bag. If using a vacuum seal bag, seal completely. If using a freezer bag or stasher bag, remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.
- When the Instant Pot has come to temperature, place the bag of fish inside, making sure that the top (where the seal is) is not submerged.
- Place the lid on and allow the fish to sous vide for one hour.
- While the fish is cooking prepare the gremolata. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you get a coarse mixture. Season to taste and set aside.
- When the fish is finished, gently remove it from the instant pot and your bag. Discard the slices of lemon.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sear the skin side of the trout for 1 minute, pressing it gently but firmly with a spatula. Remove and serve skin side up topped with gremolata.