Modernist Cooking

Former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold has food down to a science. Modernist cooking, AKA Molecular gastronomy, gets down to the nitty gritty of cooking techniques and ingredients via scientific measurements. Click here for recipes. Food By: Anjana Shanker and Maxime Bilet

Precise Temperature Control
Photo: Scott Heimendinger

Precise Temperature Control

Low-Temperature Cured Halibut, Pistachio & Spring Garlic Emulsion 

Cooking fish at a precise, low temperature works wonders. Fish is routinely cooked to a much higher temperature than necessary, causing the flesh to dry out and fish oils to oxidize and produce unpleasant fishy aromas. Here, we have cooked the fish sous vide in a water bath to a core temperature of just 113°F.

First, however, we quick-cure the halibut with a salt-sugar rub, which helps to preserve the juicy firmess of the fish. For the sauce, we make a sake reduction and then add a bit of beautiful green pistachio paste to add layers of flavor and a creamy mouthfeel. Any bright-green herb or lettuce with some acidity adds a delightful contrast of color and flavor to the pearly white of the fish and the light green of the sauce.

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