Sous Vide Cooking

White Flesh of Scallop Sous Vide at 49°C and 51°C

by on Nov.14, 2009, under Time and Accurate Temperature

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October to April is the scallop season in France. When going on markets you can see very often fishmongers’ stalls full of Coquilles Saint Jacques.  The white flesh of the scallop (the “noix de Saint Jacques”) is very thick and looking beautiful. I purchased 3 noix de Saint Jacques for a very fair price.

I have seen several post on the net with poeple who cooked scallops sous vide at 50°C. I was scarred to get it a little bit overcooked and therefore decided to cook it at 49°C.
I cleaned the scallop, put it in a pouch with salt, pepper and a bit of butter. I left the scallop 40 minutes in the water bath.

As I just wanted to cook one piece of Saint Jacques at 49°C (I have 2 other pieces to make other tries at different temperatures) I thought it was a pity to spoil 8 litres water in a big pot. Therefore I decided to use a small pot that was big enough for the Swid and the tiny scallop pouch I prepared. I was surprised to see the swid was very stable with such few water. After 5 minutes heating the water bath temperature was remaining steadily at 49.0°C!

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scallope-sous-vide-cooking-swid-addelice-5

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After 40 minutes cooking I seared the scallop 3 seconds on each side in a hot pan with a bit of butter.
The scallop was perfectly and evenly cooked but, in my opinion, not cooked enough.
Then, I decided to cook the other piece of noix de Saint Jacques at 51°C during 40 minutes. The result was much better. My sister who is a big scallop fan, said it was almost melting in her mouth. She was surprised by the moist texture of the scallop and agreed on the fact it was one of the best scallop she has eaten so far!

Tomorrow I’ll try my last noix de Saint Jacques at 50°C (yes, I know this was the temperature originally recommended by other bloggers!).

Jean-François

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5 Comments for this entry

  • Frank

    Awesome! I didn’t think it makes much sense to sous-vide scallops but this makes me want to try it!

  • The Gourmet Girl

    Fabulous images and simple instructions. Sous vide novices would do well to try this out.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • admin

    The Gourmet Girl,

    Thanks a lot! I really recommend people trying sous vide scallops. It is excellent. But take care having a very precise temperature control. One °C variation is too much if you want to be sure achieving the result you want.

    Jean-François

  • Jason Logsdon

    Those scallops look great!

    Jean-François I was also wondering if you could send me an email, this is Jason from CookingSousVide.com and I wanted to chat with you about something but I couldn’t find your email address.

    Look forward to talking to you and keep up the good work!

  • Keith

    I tried these sous vide scallops tonight… did 50.5 degrees C for about an hour…. took them out, torched them for a little brown crust, and put them in a seafood broth that I came up with that turned out well.

    The scallops were really, really good… flavorful, creamy but still having enough structure and texture… I screw up a lot when I try new things, but this one really was a home run… I think I might even get a backrub from my wife tonight!

    Thank you Jean-Francios for putting this up… really helpful, and I don’t know that I would have tried this were it not for your wonderful instructions and pictures!

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