Wild Turbot Fillets (Sous Vide)

by arnold on September 5, 2007

Trader Joe’s is one of our favorite places to buy groceries. We’re big fans of their frozen foods, especially their pizza, but we’ve never really explored the wonders of their flash-frozen seafood until now. Sous vide lends itself well to cooking seafood, and from what I’ve been reading, fish prepared sous vide is soft, tender and flaky.

The Seasoned Wild Turbot Fillets caught my eye because they were already seasoned, and I figured I could just drop the bag in the water and be done with it.

Seasoned Wild Turbot Fillets

Seasoned Wild Turbot Fillets

I heated up the water bath 113F/45C and cooked the fish for around 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, we took the fish out of the bag, reserving the juice. The fish is very fragile and soft, so be careful when moving it around. In a lightly buttered pan, sear the fish for about 30 seconds a side. Remove the fish from the pan and pour the juice from the bag into the pan to make a sauce. After cooking down the sauce a bit, spoon it on the fish and you’re done.

Here’s mine served with steamed rice and wilted spinach.

Plated Meal

The texture was just what I wanted—soft, tender, and flaky, and the impromptu pan sauce was a nice touch.


  • 113F/45C is considered below “food safe” but if you’re serving the fish immediately and not storing it for later use, it should be fine. Also, pan searing before serving should also make the fish “safer.” Cooking it right in the bag that it came in also minimizes possible contamination.
  • You don’t have to use much butter…just coat the pan lightly.
  • Because the cooking time is so short, you could easily do this in a pot over the stove. Just make sure you can regulate the water temperature for 20 minutes or so.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph September 5, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Wow! You’d never think that came out of a TJ vacuum sealed bag…you’re really getting your money’s worth w/ that machine!


Will February 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm

What are your thoughts on cooking other TJ items Sous Vide in their original
packaging? I was thinking specifically about the unfrozen meats like Beef
Bulgogi or Ribeye steak. Thanks for the very useful and entertaining blog!


Allison September 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Why did you have to boil it? I’m very new at cooking and just bought this same fish from Trader Joe’s. I followed the instructions and pan fried it. I noticed you boiled it first so I was wondering why.


Annette August 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Cooking in plastic is not a health benefit, so do not even consider it.
When plastic is boiled, the chemicals used to produce it can leach into the food being prepared due to a high temperature. Common chemicals in plastic include BPA and phthalates.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/176349-what-are-the-dangers-of-boiling-food-in-plastic-bags/#ixzz1TuYBGAIJ


Arnold August 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Annette, I appreciate the concern and I’m aware of the risks that you mentioned, but you should also know that this fish and most other foods cooked sous vide are placed in water baths with temperatures that are nowhere near close to boiling.

For example, this fish was cooked at 113F, and the highest temp I’ve ever cooked anything in a water bath is around 145F.


lora May 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I googled “wild turbot” because I’ve never had it before and I just happened to have a package of this from Trader Joe’s in my freezer. I didn’t know if it was a mild fish or fishy fish. I saw your picture and took your advice. Boiled it in a pot for 20 minutes then pan seared and made the sauce. The sauce is what sealed the deal. It was perfect and yummy. Thank you for the great tip. Especially nice that I didn’t have to turn on the oven or go outside to grill in the hot Arizona heat.


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