A masterchef gives tips on cooking sous vide

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It can be said that most people take pleasure in cooking. But let’s be honest: sometimes, it can come off as a chore. Imagine, you’re cooking meat over a pan. You somehow chain yourself to the stove, constantly checking if it’s ready for a flip. Do it too early or too late, it becomes either undercooked or burnt.

Now, if you’re looking for ways to make cooking more stress-free, we’ve discovered a simple method that can get the perfect doneness you desire for your dishes. Enter sous vide—pronounced “sue veed”—a French term for ‘under vacuum’. This issue, we sat down with Lica Ibarra, former Masterchef Asia contestant, to tell you how you could improve and be more efficient on creating your favorite meals at the confines of your home.

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1 Sous vide is a basic process of vacuum sealing the food. cooking it at a controlled time and precise temperature in a water bath. by doing this method, you let the food be cooked throughout evenly, without ever burning it.

2 Sous vide can be done to almost any ingredient — from eggs to vegetables to steaks. As how Lica describes it, doing sous vide is really foolproof.

3 It’s easier to do sous vide using a machine. sous vide machines good for either commercial or home use can now be easily bought online. For those without it, sous vide can be done with a pot of water, making sure that the temperature of the water is controlled constantly.

4 When doing sous vide for chicken, it’s best to debone and pound it first to add crisp to the skin. Before vacuum sealing or putting in a bag, season the chicken with salt and pepper, enough to keep it lightly coated.

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5 Gently place the chicken in a food grade ziplock, and adding oil and aromatics such as lemon and thyme for extra flavor.

6 Desired temperature of the water should be set before submerging the bag. For this recipe, sous vide is set at 75°c for 45 minutes.

7 When using ziplock for sous vide, Lica suggests the water displacement trick. don’t seal the bag yet, and slowly submerge it in the water which will cause the air to escape; thus, creating a tight seal around the food. Chopsticks or clips can also be used to keep the bag down.

8 Once done, pat the chicken dry and sear the sides of the skin to add crisp. If not going to be used right away, it can be kept in a chiller or ice bath.

Words by Trish Dumlao
Photography by Jericho San Miguel
Special thanks to Lica Ibarra of Kartilya