Sous vide is an ideal way to cook meat, but recently I’ve been experimenting more with cooking vegetables with my trusty Anova unit. I want to have some good vegetarian sous vide options since I try to eat veggie about half the time. Asparagus is one of my go-to vegetables and it turns out it does great with sous vide. See the Sous Vide Asparagus photos and process below.
And the result was seriously the best asparagus I’ve had in years – maybe ever – a delicious plate of asparagus with lemon zest and butter.
And, um, yeah, I pretty much ate all of it. Like, it was so good I ate an entire bunch of yummy nutritious sous vide asparagus all at once.
I hope this inspires you to go ahead and try it. It’s super easy and did I mention, delicious.
Sous Vide Asparagus
Here are the details:
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp butter
- pinch of salt
- 185 degrees
It took over an hour for the sous vide unit to get the water up to 185 degrees so I had plenty of time to do other things and then start my prep work.
I washed and trimmed the asparagus. I prefer the thinner asparagus and I almost didn’t try this today because all I could find was kind of thick for my taste. I just think asparagus tastes better when it’s dainty. I zested a bit of organic lemon, about 1/4 teaspoon or so. Then I put everything into my super fancy Ziploc sous vide bag and carefully submerged it.
Ziploc bags do work fine for sous vide, by the way, but you have to get the right ones and use the proper immersion technique.
You can see my Anova unit set up in a 12-quart Cambro right here:
My sous vide unit does have the Bluetooth capability but for this short cook time I just basically stood there and watched it, so no need for the smartphone connectivity.
I wasn’t sure on the timing since this is my first go at this, but I did some research and came up with 12 minutes due to the thickness. When I have thinner ones I’ll probably go with 10 minutes.
I did have the trouble I’ve read about with the sous vide process and vegetables – they tend to float due to all the air they contain. I spent some of the time pushing the bag down in the water with a wooden spoon, but eventually just let it float the way it wanted to and it still came out great. Next time I will probably use some of those ceramic pie weights, just to see what that’s like.
This recipe is definitely a little on the simple side, so I see it more as a jumping off point to get started with sous vide asparagus — a guideline for you to use in terms of time and temperature, and you can add whatever seasonings you like. I tend to like pretty simple food so this works for me as-is. Admittedly, it was badly in need of some salt and pepper once it was on the plate, but the asparagus itself was cooked perfectly.
It came out deliciously luscious, tender but not even close to mushy, and not a bit of woodiness in the thicker ends.
It had a lovely, intense asparagus flavor that was complemented by the lemon zest. (Possibly could have used a little more zest.) In a way, it was like tasting asparagus for the first time because it just seemed so pure and clean.
I’m keeping the time and temperature the same but next time I make it, I’m going to try a more generous pinch of salt in the Ziploc. And more zest. I decided to err on the side of caution with the seasonings.
I highly, highly recommend that you try your own sous vide asparagus!