How to Sous Vide Tilapia
This recipe comes from my friend Chef David Nelson. He shared his version on my Facebook group, What I Cooked 4 Dinner Last Night. We are talking about two recipes here, one for the sous vide tilapia and the other for the spicy seafood broth.
I say that because the broth can be used on all sorts of fish. Chef Nelson served this broth with mahi mahi but I can see serving it with cod, halibut, sea bass, flounder, even shrimp or lobster.
I chose tilapia because the only other white fish at the market when I went shopping was cod and my youngest daughter doesn’t like cod at this moment. I don’t particularly like tilapia but cooking it sous vide kept it moist and tender.
It was perfectly cooked and went well with the broth and Israeli couscous but next time I’ll try sea bass.
Sous Vide Tilapia
In Chef Nelson’s recipe for mahi mahi, he cooked the fish at 131ºF for 30 minutes. I decided to do the same with the tilapia and it was perfect. You can read more about my First Sous Vide Experiences here.
Spicy Seafood Broth
When I read the ingredient list in Chef Nelson’s recipe, I was intrigued. I don’t often cook with V-8 Juice so I was excited to see what the broth would taste like. As it was cooking down, I tried a spoonful and immediately thought of Manhattan clam chowder and knew this recipe was going to be a keeper.
The spice comes from the red pepper flakes and you can make it as spicy as you like. Be careful though, a little goes a long with those little flakes.
The mistake I made was not paying attention and letting the broth cook down too much. Instead of a rich broth to be eaten with a spoon, it was more like a delicious stew served on top of the tilapia. I blame my mistake on paying more attention to my glass of chardonnay than to the broth.
If the timing of this recipe is right, the broth should be ready about the same time as the sous vide tilapia. If for some reason your broth is done ahead of time, I recommend you cover it and remove it from the heat.
You can always reheat it before serving it with the fish. Try not to let it cook down as much as I did. Still tasted great but I missed the soupy broth.
What If I Don’t Have A Sous Vide Precision Cooker?
Let’s say you don’t have a sous vide machine but still want to make this dish. No problem.
You could pan fry it to partially cook it and then finish it in the broth. You could throw it in the oven to again partially cook it and then finish it in the broth.
Or you could fully cook it in a pan or in the oven and serve it with the couscous and broth. Cooking it sous vide is just another technique you can use and be sure to cook it perfectly.