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How to finish sous vide dishes

6 November 2015

How to finish sous vide dishes

Sous vide cooking is a reliable, consistent method that gives predictable results every time. However, most meat and fish require finishing off afterwards to start the Maillard reaction (or 'browning' reaction, caused by the amino acids and sugars in the meat) that gives browned food, especially meat, its distinctive flavour. To achieve this, there are various finishing processes you can use.


Pan-frying is perfect for crisping and colouring the skin of fish and the fat of meats that have been cooked sous vide.

Remove the meat or fish from the vacuum bag and dry with kitchen paper.

Heat a frying pan over a high heat and add a little vegetable oil.

Place fish in the pan skin-side down for 1 minute or until the skin is golden and crisp . . . then flip the fillet over for 10 seconds before removing it from the pan.

Place meat in the pan and brown all over.

Using a blowtorch

Use a blowtorch to add charred flavour to delicate ingredients and to caramelise sugar

Remove the meat or fish from the vacuum bag and dry with kitchen paper.

Place on a metal tray and use a blowtorch to gently caramelise the surface.

Finishing in the oven

Finish large or awkward items in the oven.

Preheat the oven so it is very hot

Place the food in for 5–10 minutes depending on the size until the surfaces become caramelised and crispy.

Serve immediately.

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