Mr.S. and I love scallops and I don't mean the nasty frozen ones that are injected with water and sodium tripolyphosphate (STP is a preservative that plumps them up and makes them weigh more). Sunh Fish is within walking distance from my cottage so I able to get them nice and fresh on a pretty regular basis. Our favorite go to scallop recipe is just searing them in some clarified butter in a cast iron skillet, 2 minutes on each side- no poking or touching. They get that nice caramelized crust like you see in restaurants. Last night though I thought I'd try something a little different, so I made this recipe I came across in Bon Appetit- Scallops with Bok Choy and Miso. It turned out quite tasty but next time I'd change 2 things in the preparation. I'd drizzle the sauce on instead of pouring it over the scallops and bok choy as it's pretty strong and I would sear the scallops in clarified butter instead of cooking them in oil as the recipe suggests (I couldn't get that nice seared crust using the oil). Also, I added some sesame seeds for a little extra oomph. Still the final product was pretty solid. I would probably make this again with the above modifications. It's a pretty easy weeknight dinner to throw together. I served it with a side of couscous mixed with maitake mushrooms, sliced green onions and minced garlic.
By the way, if you've never used miso before, don't be intimidated. It's just soy beans mixed with rice or barley, sea salt and a starter called koji then fermented. Miso paste is very versatile and you can use it in soups, vinaigrettes, pickling vegetables and even as a marinade. It's high in protein, vitamin K and vitamin B12. It has kind of an earthy, salty taste in my opinion. There's several different kinds of miso: white (shiro), red (aka), mixed miso (awase), brown (genmai) and yellow (shinshu). Shiro miso is the mildest and is what I tend to usually buy at the Japanese market.
Scallops and Baby Bok Choy with Miso Sauce
1 tablespoon yellow miso
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I used a microplane)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil, divided
5 baby bok choys, sliced lengthwise
1 dozen large sea scallops, patted dry
fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds
1. Whisk yellow miso, seasoned rice vinegar, mirin and grated ginger in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Place your cut baby bok choy in the pan, cut side down. Allow to cook for a few minutes then flip. The bok choy will wilt slightly and get a few brown spots. Remove bok choy from pan and place on plates, cover to keep warm.
3. Sprinkle your scallops with fresh ground pepper. Skip salting them as the miso is salty. Add the remaining vegetable oil and sesame oil to the pan. Place scallops in pan. Cook about 1.5 to 2 minutes each side. Place scallops on plate.
4. Add the miso mixture you whisked to the pan. Warm it up. Add a tablespoon of water if it's too thick for your liking. Use a spoon and drizzle over scallops and baby bok choy.
5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Original version of the recipe: Bon Appetit