I am so excited to publish this post!  My first experiment with the Anova sous-vide gadget, actually if I must be completely honest, it was the second experiment, the first shall remain unblogged.  It involved soft-boiled eggs, and a garbage disposal. Pretty sad combination.  But, I did not let that bring me down, next day I rolled up my sleeves, and went to work on a recipe for pork loin that I found on SVKitchen: Sous-vide Recipes and Techniques for the Home Cook.


(slightly modified from this recipe)

3 pounds boneless pork loin (not pork tenderloin), trimmed of excess fat, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks lemongrass, 3 outer layers and top third removed and discarded, thinly sliced
½ cup soy sauce
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, sliced on a diagonal, for garnish

Heat the water bath to 132°F (56°C).

In a bowl large enough to accommodate the pork, combine the lemongrass, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, five-spice, salt, and pepper. Add the pork and toss everything together to coat evenly. Divide the pork between two large zip lock food bags and seal using the water displacement method.

Cook for 6 hours.

Carefully open the food bags and serve the pork over cooked rice garnished with the sliced scallions.


to print the recipe, click here

In this photo, you see the Anova gadget attached to the large pan, and the water heating nicely to the correct temperature.  After mixing the pieces of meat with the marinade, two large Ziplock bags are sealed using the water displacement method.  I lowered the bag in a bowl of warm water (that makes the plastic more pliable and facilitates removing all air bubbles). The last photo shows the two bags sealed and ready to dive into the water-bath.  Easy as pie!

I set the timer for 6 hours, but due to important commitments such as helping Phil mow the front lawn & folding laundry, time was extended to 6 hours and 45 minutes. I hoped it would not be a problem. It wasn’t. In fact, it confirmed one of the advantages of sous–vide cooking: once the temperature is reached and properly equilibrated through the meat, you can take your time. Within limits, of course, there will be a change in texture if you push it too far. But this too far becomes a matter of hours, not minutes. Sweet!

Pork Sous-vide

Here is a close up of the meat as you bite into it… moist and tender all the way through!

Final comments:
 SVKitchen is a fantastic source of recipes and tips for sous-vide cooking, I have several recipes already bookmarked. The site is not getting updates anymore which is kind of sad, but you can still find a ton of stuff and they are also very helpful by email.

One of the things I learned right away from sous-vide cooking is: take notes.  Small variations in temperature will change the result of a recipe, and some can be pretty tricky to nail. Soft-boiled eggs are one classic example. Apparently, once you hit the jackpot with the method that pleases you, it will be quite reproducible.  I am not there yet, but slowly improving.  A very informative and fun article dealing exclusively with soft-boiled eggs can be found here.

Another important point in sous-vide is that for the most part the food will not look appetizing once it’s cooked.  The sous-vide obviously doesn’t brown the food and doesn’t reduce a liquid.  Normally you will need to do a final stove-top, oven, or grill step to bring the dish to completion.  Still, the idea that you can prepare your food in advance and wrap it up in minutes at dinner is quite attractive for those who work full days.  But more important than that is the ability to have perfectly cooked seafood, poultry to work with. Goodbye, tough scallops & shrimp… goodbye dried up chicken breasts & pork loin…

So far, I am really having fun with this new toy.  It is compact, can be stored away in a shelf when not in use, and I found an even better spot to put it in action: the countertop in our laundry room, adjacent to the kitchen.  There Anova enjoys the company of the vacuum sealer,  and on the left of the picture we have a sink, so it’s all quite functional.


I hope you enjoyed this first post on sous-vide, stay tuned for new adventures on Anova Land…  

ONE YEAR AGO:  Farewell to a Bewitching Kitchen

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen. June 2012


FOUR YEARS AGO: 7-6-5 Pork Tenderloin



  1. Sally, please beg, borrow, or steal Peter’s recipe for salmon 104. It is to die for, and I don’t even much like salmon. Also, if interested, I will happily pass on the recipe/instructions for perfect creme anglais for ice cream. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about your adventures with sous vide. It really is a revolution in cooking!


    • HA! He already sent me… I made a salmon two weeks ago but not that one, it’s on my list to try very soon after his raving about it – and now you. Actually he told me that you don’t eat salmon prepared any other way… Yes, I am interested in the creme recipe, I have quite a few unusual recipes made in sous-vide mode, so why not one that is tried and true?


  2. Other than in a restaurant where there’s a lot of money to spend on getting food done fast I’ve never really seen the value of the gadget but for those who have/can afford one, enjoy your toy. 🙂 The finished dish does look nice and sounds like it would be quite flavourful. I’d like to give it a try in a dutch oven for a few hours or a crockpot for those who have them.


    • The big machines are real expensive and massive in size – I never considered having one until my friend who came over to give a seminar kept raving about his and convinced me to take a look at the options. Two brands more or less dominate the market of this compact units that turn any pot into a sous-vide environment. I went with Anova, the other one is Sansaire. Any recipe for the sous-vide can be adapted for regular cooking, no doubt about it… still, I like playing with this technique, it feels almost as being in the lab experimenting… 😉


  3. This must have been so exciting to have made a wonderful and tender dish for the first time! There is a lot of appeal for sure in having a dinner you can prepare early and leave.. it would be ideal for entertaining. I have seen a few sous vide machines in town at one particular electronic store, but they sold this whole massive unit. I love that yours just attaches to a pot you already have so it’s easy to use and then store away untl the next time! You’ll have to start a whole new section on your blog for your sous vide recipes now!!


    • Thank you! Glad you liked it…. it’s too bad that texture doesn’t go through the post, that’s what made this meal special, as well as all other recipes I made so far with the Anova


  4. I am so glad you got a sous vide! I got mine 2 Christmases ago and use it often. If I could only cook flank stead and brisket in it I’d be happy. But to cook amazing pork loin, like your recipe, and also chicken breasts as well, it’s heavenly work!!!


  5. I have always wanted to try sous vide cooking. There was actually a French toast recipe that used it (back when we were doing our FT challenge). I just love your bravery in the kitchen Sally. It’s always inspiring. And the color on that meat looks to die for! Looking forward to more of our sous vide adventures.🙂


  6. Pingback: Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap | Recipes for a Healthy You

  7. This looks and sounds amazing! Can’t wait to explore more about SV cooking with you, and will definitely check-out SVKitchen, thanks for the tip! Good luck with the eggs 😉


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