Sous Vide Fish Tacos with Fall Apple Slaw

Sous vide cooking guarantees fish that's perfectly cooked – never underdone or overdone. And what better way to show it off than in a round of fish tacos?!

Photography Credit: Nick Evans

This post is brought to you in partnership with Joule: Sous Vide by ChefSteps.

Sous vide cooking has a reputation for long, slow cooking – hours and hours of cooking foods at low temperatures before its ready to serve. Many recipes certainly do take this long (and with delicious results!), but you can use your immersion circulator for quick-cooking recipes, too!

That’s right – sous vide can definitely be used to make fast, easy weeknight meals! These fish tacos are the perfect example.

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These sous vide fish tacos are ready in about 45 minutes flat. Yes, this is a bit longer than a quick stovetop sear, but the advantage is fish that you don’t have to worry about over-cooking (or under-cooking).

The fish can even hang out in the sous vide bath a few extra minutes if you’re not quite ready to serve.

As the fish cooks, you can make the apple salsa and sour cream sauce, and dinner is ready in no time. The fish itself goes straight from the sous vide bath to the taco and is flaky and well-seasoned after just 45 minutes cooking. What could be easier?!

Sous Vide Fish Tacos


 Since the fish has about 45 minutes to cook in the water bath, I like to use that time to make a few fun taco toppings.

First, the cilantro sour cream sauce: This is my go-to for lots of tacos. Stir together some sour cream with lime juice and cilantro, and it’s ready to go.

Then add a fall apple slaw: The apple and radish salsa is different from what you’ll find on most tacos, but has a great texture, which these tacos need. This is also the time of year when apples are at their best, so why not show them off in a crunchy slaw?!

For more information on apple varieties, check out our Guide to Apples.


This is one of my favorite recipes for first-time sous-vide cooks. It’s low stress and much easier than cooking halibut in the oven or in a skillet. In fact, it would be hard to screw this up!

Here are a few other resources if you need some help getting started with sous-vide cooking:



Sous Vide Fish Tacos with Fall Apple Slaw Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound halibut
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of ground cumin

Apple Slaw:

  • 1 red apple, such as Fuji or Gala, peeled and diced
  • 4 to 5 radishes, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • Juice from 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Pinch of salt

Cilantro Sour Cream:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • Juice from 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Pinch of salt

To serve:

  • Taco-sized flour or corn tortillas
  • 1/2 red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced thin

Special equipment:


1 Heat the water: Fill your pot with water and place your immersion circulator inside. Set the temperature to 132°F and let water come to temperature.

2 Prep the fish: Season halibut with a pinch of salt, pepper, and ground cumin. Add to gallon-sized bags.

3 Seal the bag: Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible by using the water-displacement method to help press out all the air: Lower the bag with the fish into the water, letting the water press the air through a small opening in the bag. Once the air has been pressed out, seal the bag.

You can do this in the pot of water as it heats. (Just be careful if the water is already steaming!) Set the halibut aside on a kitchen towel until the water has finished heating.

4 Cook the halibut sous vide: Once the water has come to temperature cook the halibut for 45 minutes. If your fillets are thicker than 1 inch, add 15 minutes to cooking time.

5 Meanwhile, make the apple slaw and the sour cream sauce: If you haven't already done so, dice the apples and radishes. Toss together in a small bowl with the onions, lime juice, and a pinch of salt.

In another small bowl, stir together the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and salt for the sour cream sauce.

6 Assemble the tacos: A few minutes before the halibut is ready, warm the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. When the halibut is done, remove it from the bag and transfer to a plate. Use a fork to break the fish into chunky pieces.

Assemble the tacos by adding a smear of sour cream sauce to each tortilla and topping with a few slices avocado, cabbage, a few scoops of slaw, and about two ounces of sous-vide halibut. Drizzle more sour cream sauce over top, and serve!

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Nick Evans

Nick has been writing delicious recipes for the home cook for almost a decade. He lives in Denver, CO and embraces a delicate balance of diaper changing, trail running and beer drinking. His website is Macheesmo and his first book is Love Your Leftovers.

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3 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSous Vide Fish Tacos with Fall Apple Slaw

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Daniel

    Good recipe, enjoyed the moist fish and layered flavors from sauce and slaw. Need to cook halibut more often sous vide,


  2. Diane

    can you use salmon?

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Sous Vide Fish TacosSous Vide Fish Tacos with Fall Apple Slaw