Sous vide asparagus

Sous Vide Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Using the Sous Vide method to cook asparagus is an easy way to get perfect asparagus every time. Asparagus season is relatively short and there’s nothing better than locally grown asparagus, freshly picked from the farmers market. After all the waiting, it’d be a shame to ruin it by overcooking it resulting in a grey, limp, soggy mess. Cooking them sous vide solves this and you’ll get bright green, snappy asparagus every time! We pair simple sous vide asparagus with a beautifully creamy, thick Hollandaise sauce.

A Simple Yet Elegant Starter in Asparagus Season

Asparagus is an incredible vegetable and, despite it being available all year round, it’s really at its best when in season. The asparagus season in Europe generally runs from March to June with the best months being April & May. This is when you want to splurge and get the best and freshest local asparagus from your farmers market or greengrocer.

So you’ve got a bunch of fresh asparagus, why cook them sous vide? Traditional cooking methods like steaming or boiling dilutes the flavour with water. It’s also hard to get a perfect cook on them and overcooked asparagus just isn’t nice. Cooking them sous vide ensures, that you’ve got 100% asparagus flavour and a perfect, consistent doneness. I cook mine at 180f/82c for 12 minutes for a perfect cook.

Now we’ve got perfectly cooked asparagus we need something to go with it. A traditional hollandaise is perfect with seasonal asparagus. I like to make mine really thick and aerated – something you can only do with the bain-marie / double-boiler method.

What You’ll Need

To make sous vide asparagus with hollandaise sauce you’ll need a sous vide set-up for the asparagus. For the hollandaise, I use the traditional double-boiler method.

sous vide asparagus hollandaise ingredients

Sous Vide Asparagus

Asparagus: Thick, seasonal asparagus is best for this. If you’re out of season and have imported thin asparagus I’d probably advise steaming them for a few minutes! For presentation I use peeler to remove the bottom 2 inches of outer skin. If you do this, take your time and don’t apply too much pressure otherwise you’ll remove a lot of the flesh.

Butter: Butter or olive oil is optional as you really don’t need it for sous vide cooking – it does add extra flavour though!

Sous Vide Setup: I use an Anova Immersion Circulator placed into a tub of water. I also use a Vacuum Chamber sealer but you can use double sandwich bags instead.

vacuum packed asparagus


Eggs: To make a hollandaise you only need egg yolks. It’s best to use free-range organic eggs but you can use whatever you have! We cook the eggs so you don’t have to worry about pasteurising them.

Butter: A hollandaise sauce is a butter based sauce and you need a lot of it – a whole stick to be precise! Avoid using margarine and salted butter.

Lemon: Lemon juice adds a lovely bit of acidity to cut through the richness of the butter. Traditionally vinegar is used but I prefer the flavour of lemon juice.

Note: This will make a large batch of hollandaise but you can reheat leftovers in a sandwich bag submerged in warm water. You can use it for an easy eggs Benedict the next morning or along side even more asparagus!

hollandaise sauce double boiler
The double boiler method for a hollandaise sauce is reliable as long as you don’t let the mixture get too hot!


Makes enough for 2 entree/starter portions*.

  • 1 handful of in-season asparagus, tough, woody end parts removed and bottom section lightly peeled
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (250g)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

*Note: that this makes enough hollandaise for at least 6 servings.

How to Make Sous Vide Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

  1. Set your sous vide machine to 82c/180f and preheat the water bath.

  2. Start by preparing the hollandaise sauce. In a small pot add the butter and melt on a low heat.

  3. Bring a separate pot of water (2-3 inches of water) to a gentle simmer and place a glass bowl on top. Add your egg yolks and lemon juice and whisk constantly. After a minute or so, the mixture should thicken. You should continue to whisk until the whisk leaves traces. Feel free to use your finger to check the temperature of the mixture – it should never get hot.

  4. Once the mixture is nicely thick (think custard consistency) slowly stream the melted butter into the mixture whilst whisking constantly. You can do this whilst the bowl is still on the pot of water.

  5. Once all the butter is mixed in you should have a thick, runny sauce. If you want this consistency then season and reserve. If you want it thicker (this is how I like it – almost like a mayonnaise) then continue to whisk the hollandaise in the bowl over the simmering water. This will take a few minutes but it’ll eventually thicken up.*

  6. When you’re ready to eat, vacuum seal the asparagus with a knob of butter. Note: Do not add salt yet! This will just remove the bright green flavour of the asparagus.

  7. Place the asparagus into the water bath and cook for 12 minutes.

  8. Remove the asparagus from the bag and season with Maldon sea salt. Serve immediately with a dollop of warm hollandaise sauce.

*Note: Temperature is key to not splitting the sauce or scrambling the eggs. If you feel like the bowl is getting too hot, remove and place on a cold surface and whisk. Use your fingers to test the temperature of the sauce – it should be burning hot.

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