Posts Tagged ‘scallops’

Spicy scallops garnished with fresh torn basil
Scallops are one food most people love to eat in restaurant but rarely cook at home. Why? They are just as quick to cook as shrimp, easier to clean than shrimp, and when seared on high heat, make for a beautiful presentation. The reasons I compare scallops to shrimp are their like nutritional values (did you know they are both high in B vitamins?), and their market prices. However, like shrimp, scallops are brought to your supermarket frozen. Now, some supermarkets are honest the state of their shellfish and leave them in their frozen state. Others- one major gourmet grocery store comes to mind- “refresh” (read: defrost) their scallops, shrimp, and lobster tails, so they appear to have been fresh all along. My problem is not with the refreshing process, but with the presentation in the fresh fish case- almost every other fish in the case is shipped fresh, so why would a normal shopper think to ask about the state of the shellfish? All I’m saying is I wish customers paying top dollar had full disclosure. Ok, that’s the end of that rant.
Now for another one. Scallops can be totally tasteless. Its true- they’ve been frozen as we know, and refreshing them causes them to lose flavor. Did you think all scallops, even perfectly cooked ones, must taste like nothing? Sure, the texture is wonderful, but to me at least, the taste is always lacking. if you want to see what scallops are supposed to taste like, go to a restaurant where you know they’re flown in fresh, like the Grand Central Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station in NYC. You’ll truly believe the scallops you’ve been eating are muted versions of the real deal. Right, Dad? (Dad introduced me to the scallops at Grand Central, so he gets a shout out).
Ok, Maddy, get to your point. The point is, scallops are great for you, and are still yummy in their refreshed, albeit muted, state. Here is a recipe that brings intense flavor to those texturally decadent morsels. Sea scallops are best here, as they develop a nice sear when dropped in a hot oiled pan. Don’t be discouraged, just informed! Enjoy : )
Scallops with Spicy Asian Barbecue Sauce
Serves 2
1 lb sea scallops, small muscle on the side removed
salt and pepper
4 tbsp hoisin
2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (found in every asian supermarket)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
optional addition: 1 tsp mung bean sauce (also found at asian supermarkets- its like bean peanut butter (peanuts are legumes, after all)
4 leaves fresh basil
1. Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a saute pan on high heat. Season scallops liberally with salt and pepper. Sear scallops for 2 minutes on each side, allowing a nice brown crust to form.
2. While you sear the scallops, mix all the ingredients for the sauce. When scallops are done, plate them, then, makign sure the pan is on low heat, add the sauce to the pan. Just warm the sauce in the pan, don’t cook it, and drizzle it over the scallops. Tear basil leaves over each plate and serve immediately. Enjoy!
-M : )

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