I like scallops. And so do a lot of people. It’s a gateway, if not a staple, fish. They’re rich and sweet and full-textured and fry well, making them satisfying to most non fish-lovers.
But a sea scallop (the big fat one) is often better when cut down to size i.e. sliced or chopped. There’s nothing better than scallop nigiri at Sushi Yasuda: a supremely, oceany fresh slice of scallop over rice. I’ve had them as tartare or halved, the thin slices seared with all kinds of sauces. A bacon vinaigrette comes to mind. In Wellfleet, Moby Dick’s makes good fried scallops (better fried oysters).
Beware of the faux scallop. In a mammoth family North Carolina seafood joint I ordered scallops and got a plate of chewy, scallop-shaped flesh. Later I learned of the fabricated scallop, a tray of pressed fish cut into scallop shapes. Not for me.
With Yasuda in mind-always have Yasuda in mind-we put together this scallop dish. It’s Japanese, hence the edamame and tobiko. Other garnishes could include toasted nori, seasoned seaweed, black sesame seeds, pickled ginger, etc.
Halved scallops, seared briefly on both sides are sweet, joyful little nuggets. Unlike, say, our annoying cats. It’s foolproof, but a touch of this and a touch of that make them even better. Unless they’re fake. Enjoy.
Sea Scallops w/ Clarified Butter and Edamame
Serves 4 as an appetizer
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 sea scallops, sliced in half widthwise
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shelled edamame
¼ cup good soy sauce
3 tablespoons tobiko (flying fish caviar)
salt and pepper
- Add the butter to a small pot over low heat until the white milk solids rise to the top. Using a spoon, gently skim the solids and discard. There’s your clarified butter. Reserve.
- Blanch the edamame in a small pot of water for a few minutes until just tender and cool in running cold water.
- For the scallops: season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat until nearly smoking and add scallops. Cook for about a minute on each side or until richly colored. Remove.
- To serve: arrange the scallops (we like to shingle them) on each plate, scatter the edamame, dress lightly with the butter and soy. Accompany with a small mound of the tobiko.