Saturday, July 13, 2013

Seared Scallops with Wasabi and Avocado Puree

The butter of the sea paired against a beautiful wasabi avocado puree, topped with fried onions

This is a fusion Japanese dish, melding butter and Chinese wine to sear scallops. Scallops are naturally rich and buttery in flavour and searing in butter really enhances the taste of the scallop.

I love wasabi and purists would never really mix wasabi, as it dilutes the intensity. However, modern cooking calls for adaptation. Mixing wasabi and lime with avocado really adds so many levels of sensory confusion when you eat with a buttery scallop. I wanted to create a new intensity, to augment the purist ideals of traditional Japanese cooking. Adding the walnuts to the puree gives the dish a beautiful crunch and you really need it as the whole dish is quite soft.

You don’t have to cook the life out of the scallop either, nicely seared on either side, with a mellow translucence in the centre is perfect. The fried onions topped on the dish and the Chinese cooking wine are readily available in most supermarkets in the Asian aisle.

Serves two
6 -8 scallop
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp Chinese Wine

For the Puree
1 medium avocado
¼ lime juice
½ tsp wasabi
¼ cup walnuts
2 tbsp chives, diced
2 tbsp fried onions
1 tsp chives

Start by leaving the scallops in a paper towel for 5 minutes to absorb excess juices they may release when cooking. Next, smash all the puree ingredients, making sure you retain some crunch from the walnuts. In a pan, heat butter on a medium to high heat. Butter won’t burn too fast, but adjust heat as needed. Put the scallops on as soon as the butter is piping hot. Sear on the first side for 1 -2 minutes then turn carefully once with tongues and sear for around 1 to 1.5 minutes. Add Chinese cooking wine at the last moment to deglaze the pan and to pick up all of the beautiful flavours, it almost caramelises the scallop.

Plate the scallops on the puree, drizzle remaining butter and finish with fried onions and chives. Salt and pepper to taste

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