Seafood is something I wish I can have everyday. Meat is love and all, but I just realized I’ve been having a love affair with seafood and fish all my life without even knowing it. My grandfather was a fisherman, and my dad has always been a fisherman’s son (Read: we had to have fish dishes pretty much all the time as an alternative to the meat dishes). And I guess I never realized how much I missed having fish until I moved to Switzerland where seafood is hell expensive and choices are limited. Or maybe more like different. Case in point: Scallops.
See, the scallops I grew up with resembled small round fish meat. And here in Europe? Well, hello there, lovely knobs of buttery fish-meet-clams magic. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smaller (and extremely fresh) ones we get in Manila, no doubt. But these ones we have here is just… Ummm… It’s like discovering another species.
Thus, scallops have become quite a regular in our kitchen. Noix de Saint-Jacques de Normandie! Here’s a winter dinner idea with an Asian tug (because 😁).
Pan-seared Scallops + Shiitake and a Chou-rave, radish, cucumber salad
6 scallops / Noix de Saint-Jacques de Normandie
3-4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 green onion, chopped (keep some of the green part for the salad)
butter/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
For the salad:
1/2 chou-rave, peeled and julienned
1/2 black radish, peeled and julienned
1/3 cucumber, julienned
3 small pink radishes, sliced into round pieces
2 tsp capers
top part of the green onion, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
Assemble the salad first. In a medium-sized salad bowl, mix together the chou-rave, black radish and cucumber. Squeeze half a lemon over them, and add in the mustard and mustard seeds. Season with salt and pepper, then toss. Drizzle with olive oil. Set Aside.
Sauté the garlic in a bit of butter over medium heat until it’s brown (but not burnt!). Add the chopped green onion (white parts) and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes, then set aside.
In the same pan over medium-high heat, add the rest of the butter/olive oil. Sear the scallops (about 3 minutes per side if they are frozen, and about 2 minutes if scallops are fresh). It will have beautiful brown streaks when it’s done. Be careful not to overcook nor undercook them. I know, this may be a tricky part, but try to sear a piece and slice through to see if it is indeed cooked. Scallop sizes are not always regular, so cooking time may differ. For your reference, we used frozen ones which were about 4cm in diameter that cooked beautifully over 6 minutes (3 per side).
And finally, plate the dish. Place a portion of the salad, top with some sliced pink radishes, capers and green onions. Add the sautéed mushrooms and then those gorgeously cooked scallops. Dive in and enjoy! ✌︎