When cooked sous vide, asparagus is an incredible treat. All at once crunchy and tender, there’s a reason that this flavorful vegetable remains a springtime staple. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate asparagus than topping it with a sous vide egg, crispy pancetta, and a creamy hollandaise sauce.
The 65°C egg yolk is one of our favorite “sauces” to add to a dish. In this case, we’re using it alongside a hollandaise sauce (more egg yolks!) as a creamy, indulgent topping for the asparagus. But, the sous vide egg yolk is also a great stand alone sauce when seasoned with a little lemon zest and cayenne pepper.
You can cook your sous vide eggs in bulk ahead of time, then chill them in an ice bath and reserve them in the refrigerator. Before you begin prepping the asparagus, grab two eggs from the fridge and warm them up in a bowl of hot tap water, or in a second Sansaire bath set to 57°C / 135°F – warm enough to heat the eggs, but not hot enough to cook them any further.
Eggs cooked sous vide actually have two kinds of whites: the set white, which encases the yolk, and a looser part of the egg white, which is perfectly safe to eat, but doesn’t set during the cooking process. For a clean, restaurant-style presentation, separate the loose white by cracking each egg into a small bowl. Use a slotted spoon to remove the set part of the egg only, discarding the loose white left behind.
You may also use the “staged cooking” approach to handle foods with different cooking temperatures. In this case, start by cooking the asparagus until done. Then drop the water temperature in your bath to 65°C / 149°F and add the eggs to cook for 45 minutes. The texture of the asparagus won’t be affected much by the additional cooking time, as the cooking temperature for the eggs is so much lower than for vegetables.
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
- Flaky sea salt to taste
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 C pancetta, cubed
- 1/4 C hollandaise sauce (make ahead, or store bought)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Eggs
- Prepare eggs in 65°C sous vide bath for 45 minutes. Set aside the eggs (still in their shells) in a bowl of hot tap water to keep warm until serving, up to 1 hour.
- Preheat your water bath to 85°C / 185°F.
- Using the size of your vacuum or zip-top bag as your guide, cut the asparagus to length. Combine the asparagus and butter in a vacuum bag* and seal, ensuring that the asparagus forms a single layer.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fry the pancetta until crispy.
- To serve, carefully remove the asparagus from the vacuum bag onto a warmed platter. Crack the sous vide eggs over the asparagus. Top with hollandaise sauce, lemon zest, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately.
*If you aren’t using a vacuum sealer, melt the butter before adding to the other ingredients in a zip-top bag (we recommend using a name-brand freezer-grade bag).
With the top of the bag open, use tongs to carefully submerge the bag into the bottom of the water bath, without allowing any water into the bag itself. The pressure of the water circulating around the outside of the bag will push any air out and form a seal around the vegetables. Zip the bag closed.