Monday, March 9, 2015

Sous Vide Pork Cheek in Garlic Soy Red Wine Sauce

Pork cheek is one of my favourite cuts for the sous vide cooking method. My earlier sous vide pork cheek recipe was featured in SousVide Supreme website. This is a variation to the earlier recipe. Instead of cooking the cheek further in its own juice from the sous vide process with carrots and mushrooms, I braised the cheeks in a dark soy and red wine mixture reduced to a thick sauce with whole garlic cloves.

This recipe was inspired by a tapas dish that we had at the Sabio by the sea,  Sentosa. We were blown away by this pork belly dish in some special sauce. When asked what was the special ingredient that went into the dish, the chef cheekily revealed that it was our Asian dark soy sauce!

Soy sauce is not a standard condiment in traditional western cooking but, like vinegar and wine, adding the right amount of soy sauce in your cooking can enhance your dish and creates a taste of magic.

After 8 hours in the water bath, texture of the sous vide pork cheeks would already be fork-tender soft. (Keep the precious juice from the sous vide process - it is ideal for cooking pasta) Cooking them further in the dark soy red wine sauce with browned garlic and ginger gave the dish an oriental twist and I bet you will ask for more bread, or rice, to go with the fusion dish!


12 pork cheeks
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Olive oil


Preheat the water bath to 82°C.

Remove any remaining cartilage and fat from the cheeks. (Do not remove the silverskin that runs through the center of each cheek). Wash them under cold running water.

Pat the cheeks dry with kitchen paper and place in a mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper and olive oil to the cheeks and rub well. Divide the cheeks into vacuum pouches (3 - 4 cheeks into 1). Seal with hard vacuum.

Place the sealed bags in the preheated water bath and cook the cheeks for 8 hours.

Once cooked, retain the cheeks in the bag and cool in ice water. Do not open the bag until needed.

Like me, you can prepare the cheeks days before and keep in the fridge. Heat up and cook the sauce on the actual day itself.

To finish the dish:

10 - 15 whole garlic cloves (peeled)
2 slices old ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup juice from sous vide process
1 tsp sugar

Heat up olive oil in a skillet, big enough to hold all the cheeks. Brown garlic and ginger slice until fragrant. Do not let burnt.

Add pork cheeks followed by the soy and red wine sauce mixture and the juice from sous vide process. Bring sauce to boil. Turning the cheeks in between the cooking process for an even coat of the sauce. Add sugar and cook until sauce is slightly thickened. 

Sprinkle chopped parsley. Served the cheeks hot in the skillet.


  1. This dish is so irresistible. Look at the beautiful colour, makes you want to reach for it. I think it is taste even better on the next day. Thanks for sharing Chef.

  2. Alvin, this is great! I was wondering what to do with the red wine in my pantry as it is taking up space. I'll do this with pork belly because I can't get pork cheeks. Can't wait to try it!

    1. Have you tried this with belly? Interested to know the result.

  3. Looks delicious!! What wine would you recommend?

  4. Good efforts. All the best for future posts. I have bookmarked you. Well done. I read and like this post. Thanks.
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