Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scallops with Asian Slaw

After stuffing myself at Easter dinner (there was a dessert buffet!), I wanted something extremely light last night.  I had gotten some scallops at the market, but wasn't sure how I was going to prepare them.  All I knew was that I wasn't looking for a heavy sauce with lots of butter - I wanted to stick to a healthy recipe.   I found this recipe on Epicurious (if you can't tell by now one of my favorite websites) and thought it looked like the perfect thing.  Since I was serving this as the main meal and not just an appetizer, I decided to throw in some buckwheat noodles to the slaw to give it some more body.   And while the scallops with the cilantro sauce were very tasty, I will probably find myself going back to this recipe more for the slaw than anything else.   
Scallops with Cilantro Sauce and Asian Slaw
adapted from Epicurious
1 large carrot, cut into julienne
1/3 lb daikon radish, peeled and cut into julienne
1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cut into julienne
1 red pepper, cut into julienne
1 scallion, cut into julienne (with a knife)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon thai red chili sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
handful of chopped cocktail peanuts
6oz thin buckwheat (soba) noodles
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh serrano chile
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb sea scallops, tough muscle discarded from each

Either by hand or using a mandoline, julienne the veggies.  I used my grater attachment on the food processor and except for the red pepper and scallions, they came out fine.  The pepper I did by hand and the scallion I cut into thin rings.  
Toss together carrot, radish, pepper, apple, scallion, vinegar, chili sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 15 minutes to soften. 
In the meantime, cook the noodles and rinse with cold water and drain well.  Add noodles and peanuts to slaw.
Stir together cilantro, lime juice, serrano chile, fish sauce, 3 tablespoons oil, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar, or to taste.
Pat scallops dry. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, and sauté scallops, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
Divide among plates and top with scallops. Drizzle with cilantro sauce. 

Again, I thought the scallops and sauce were good, but the serrano chile was extremely hot.  If you don't like heat, I would omit the chile.  This dish would also be good with shrimp or with just the slaw (with or without the noodles) as a side dish.

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