The tastiest way to eat your greens! This spicy teriyaki sous vide steak salad bowl is cooked to perfection and dressed with a delicious spicy teriyaki.
Sous Vide Steak?
Why would you do such a thing? What does it even mean! OK. So, sous vide literally means under vacuum. That means the meat cooks without any air being circulated around it. I’m going to explain later, but the main thing to take away from this is that your meat is going to be more delicious than it has ever been before.
So What Is Sous Vide?
I feel like I’m going to be answering that question over and over so one day I should move that to a whole post. But, anyway, like I said, sous vide means to cook under a vacuum. That means you take your meat (or protein/or whatever) seal it in a plastic, vacuum sealed bag, a and immerse it in a precisely controlled temperature bath of water for an extended period of time. That sounds like a lot of work and I’ll guide you through every step of the way. Trust me though, it’s easier than it sounds.
Start with Sous Vide Steak
The first part of this recipe involves Sous Viding (is that a word? Fuck it. It’s a word now!) a nice cheap piece of skirt steak. Begin by patting the meat dry and then season it generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. One thing about sous vide cooking is that your meat never gets hot enough to get that brown crust that a steak should have. That crust holds a lot of that delicious, charred, steak flavor that we all love. When you sous vide, you have to “finish” the meat and give it a quick sear, but we’re going to do that first so that umami charred flavor spreads throughout the steak. All you need is a good, quick, 45-60 second sear.
Seal The Deal
Sous Vide cooking requires you to vacuum seal your meat in an airtight plastic bag. There are two ways of doing this and which one I pick depends on how long I’m cooking for.
Method 1 The Water Displacement Method:
This method uses water pressure to force the air out your plastic bag. Simply close the bag most of the way and dip the bag into water leaving the opening above the water line. Seal it up and bam, you’ve got yourself a sealed bag. This method isn’t perfect but is enough for a short cook. I like it for sous vide fish, which doesn’t take too long.
Method 2 Vacuum Sealer:
For longer cooks you really need a vacuum sealer. The downside is they’re pricey and so are the bags. The upside is it’s a great way to store food as well. My favorite is the Foodsaver V4440 and it’s a workhorse. This time I didn’t need it because I was only cooking for 4 hours but, apparently I was out of freezer bags and didn’t have time to go to the store. Whoops!
No Diggity, I Got To Bag It Up!
So, take each seared skirt steak and place them in the bag making sure they are in a single layer. If they don’t fit, you can cut them, but it’s important that they are in a single layer so that a precise temperature evenly surrounds the meat.
Oh shit. Let me back up. Sous Vide is done in vacuum sealed bags. You then take the vacuum sealed bags and place them in water that is a precisely heated to an exact temperature.
But How Do You Heat That Water?
This is my Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker. It’s the Wi-Fi model thats supposed to connect with your phone over your Wi-Fi network and allow you to “monitor” your cook from the cloud. I love the device but the Wi-Fi is kind of pointless. Anova wants you to connect and login through a website now and I’ve never been able to login. I’d recommend the cheaper Bluetooth model.
All you have to do is attach the Anova to the side of a food storage container/pot/cooler and set the temperature. Let water come to the desired temperature, set duration, and your good to cook. Place the racked up steaks into the bath cover and leave it for 4 hours. Don’t fiddle with the bags because they may rupture. If the bags still float, simply use metal binder clips to attach them to the rack.
Make The Sauce, Boss!
When cooking time is up. remove the steaks from the bag and let them rest. Save any liquid that’s accumulated in the bag. This is your steak jus and there is plenty of flavor in there that we’ll be using later. In a small pot sauté onions until soft (about 5 minutes). Add soy sauce, mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), sake, the steak jus, sugar, sliced ginger, and a couple of garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out the solids. At this point you have a delicious teriyaki sauce but now we have to turn it into a salad dressing.
Return the sauce to heat and add finely grated garlic and Tobanjan to the pot, which is a spicy Japanese chili bean sauce. It also can be found under the name toban jiang, toban zhang, or in this case, toban djan. It’s the same stuff. In a small bowl, stir a tablespoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of water together until the cornstarch has dissolved and it’s taken on a milky texture. Stir it into the sauce and cook until it turns shiny and has thickened slightly (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat, sprinkle in sesame seeds, and allow it to cool.
Slice up those beautifully cooked steaks. Resist the urge to eat them with your fingers. OK i’ll let you have a couple. I’m not kidding, the steak will be so perfect you might tear up a bit. Now build your salad in a bowl. Start with some mixed spring greens. Add some shredded carrots, daikon (Japanese white radish), julienned scallion, and if you want to add more to it edamame and sliced cucumber work too. Dress with the sauce with extra on the side if people want more.
I know I wrote a whole lot about it, but sous vide is a super simple way to get the perfectly cut most delicious, restaurant quality meat at home.