Our family has been obsessed with sous vide ever since we got a PolyScience immersion circulator. The great thins about sous vide cooking are: (1) the prep is minimal (just set it and forget it); and (2) the results are perfect (granted your ingredient and ratios were perfect going in). The hubster once got overly excited about brining and let his spareribs sit in a salt bath for two days, and after an additional 72 hours in the water bath, the ribs were the best texture but way too salty.

Sous vide is a great technique for tough cuts of meat because the slow cook at low temperatures help turn the fibrous collagen into gelatinous goodness, while preserving the protein’s cell walls so that they don’t break down and leak vital juices.

The French term, sous vide, translates to “under vacuum” (which, by deductive reasoning, sous chef denotes the one immediately under the chef). Foods cooked sous vide are vacuum sealed prior to entering the water bath; this keeps applied seasonings and the meat’s natural juices within a small controlled environment so that the result is a piece of tender meat far from being bland.

But I’m no scientist. Just a Blind Cook. So let’s get right to the recipe.

I recently bought some boneless beef short ribs to test how they’d turn out with the immersion circulator. A dish I cherish during wintertime is bò kho, a Vietnamese beef stew with carrots. It is a hearty dish perfect for cold weather; with hints of Chinese spices; and served with egg noodles, rice noodles, or a baguette. But because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make the full-out stew, I decided to extract the essential flavors of bò kho and use those to marinate the short ribs. So here it is, my recipe for deconstructed Vietnamese beef short ribs. If the Blind can Cook it, you can too.

Recipe: Sous Vide Vietnamese Short Ribs

Summary: You’ll need the following toys: (1) a PolyScience immersion circulator; (2) a vacuum seal system such as the PolyScience vacuum sealer; and (3) a food-grade PolyScience bath. (Yes, I’ve upgraded from a mere stockpot.) I served mine with steamed short-grained rice and my mama-in-law’s homemade kim chi. For a truer deconstructed version, serve with some [sous vide] carrots.


  1. 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs at room temperature, cut into 2” slices
  2. 2 thinly sliced pcs ginger
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  5. 1 tbsp paprika
  6. 1 tsp five-spice powder
  7. 1 tsp granulated sugar
  8. 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  9. juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Fill the bath with water, and set the immersion circulator to 50°C for 72 hrs.
  2. Make the marinade: in a small bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, shallot, paprika, five-spice, sugar, fish sauce, and lemon juice. Place meat in 1 to 2 vacuum seal bags, depending on bag size. Pour marinade into bag, dividing evenly if using more than 1 bag. Seal bags using vacuum seal. If you’re having trouble keeping the liquid inside the bag while sealing, try freezing the liquid in little plastic baggies first before dropping the frozen marinade inside the vacuum seal bag and sealing.
  3. Submerge the sealed short ribs in the water bath and cook for 72 hrs. Continue life as usual.
  4. After 72 hrs, turn off the PolyScience and remove short ribs from water bath. Let cool slightly before cutting open bags. Once open, slice meat into desired sized chunks. If you want a more concentrated sauce, reduce the sauce in a saucepan until you reach desired flavor and consistency.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 72 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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8 Discussion to this post

  1. a-design says:

    The ingredients are not that expensive for single meal for a day. Thank you for sharing this healthy recipe to us.

  2. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love short ribs dishes!

  3. maria says:

    i love meat and I probably eat more than I should. but now with this new and brilliant way of cooking I simply can't get enough of it. And with your amazing recipes, I don't stand a chance at cutting down.

  4. Margaret Brown says:

    Processing venison at home and not having it done by a professional meat shop or grocery store can be a enjoyable and rewarding experience, especially when you realize the fact that you were able to accomplish the end result all by your self. It does take some time to process your own venison, with a number of time consuming steps. One step that comes toward the end of venison processing is packing and storing the venison in the freezer.

    This step may be one of the most important steps in the entire process because how you seal and pack the venison in the freezer will determine the quality that you end up with when you finally take it out of the freezer to be consumed. So it is critical that you perform this step carefully and with great accuracy.

    One way that you can provide a tightly sealed environment for your venison is by using vacuum sealers. The vacuum sealer is made by a number of different manufacturers including Food Saver, Rival, and others. There are different models with a range of different functions. The basic vacuum sealer will perform your standard bag sealing and that's about it, whereas a more beefy model will perform other functions like wet sealing, jar sealing, and more.

  5. Luvele says:

    Hi. I’m an old guy from Edmonton and I program my SV cooker in Celsius. (55 is my magic number.)

    Love your blog. Thanks.

  6. PB says:

    needs to be 130 degrees for Pasteurization

  7. Hedy says:

    Hi from Holland,

    Thanks for posting this recipe.
    But I have no a special toy ( hahaha) water bath. Do you have another alternative ?
    Please let me know,
    Thanks and many greetings from Holland

    • Christine Ha says:

      You can braise or roast in the oven. Let me know if you need specific times and temperatures. Good luck, and happy eating!

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