Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 19, 2017

© Antonis Achilleos

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Scallops with daikon relish

This recipe looks like top-chef cuisine, but it’s simple to prepare, especially since the relish can be made in advance. The secret to beautifully crusted scallops is a heavy cast-iron pan, oil hot enough to give an instant sear and a cook who is patient enough to leave the scallops untouched for the time it takes them to brown.


For the relish
2½ oz. (70 g) daikon radish, peeled and cut into ⅛-in (3-mm) dice
2 tbsp. (30 ml) finely minced shallot
1½ tbsp. (22.5 ml) fresh wasabi paste (recipe follows)
1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh lime juice
2 tsp. (10 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) granulated sugar
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt


12 to 16 large sea scallops, (1 to 1½ lb /455 to 680 g)
salt
canola or another neutral oil for frying


In a medium bowl, stir together the daikon, shallot, wasabi, lime juice, oil, mirin, sugar and salt, mixing gently. Set the relish aside until ready to serve.

Remove the small, tough connective tissue at the side of each scallop. Blot the scallops dry with paper towels. Before searing, season lightly with salt.

When ready to sear, pour in just enough oil to coat the bottom of a heavy, 12-inch (30.5-cm), preferably cast-iron, frying pan. Place the pan over high heat and heat the oil until hot, but not smoking.

Carefully arrange the scallops so they aren’t touching. (You should have enough room to sear all at once). Sear until a brown crust forms on the bottom, 3 minutes. Turn over, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until lightly crusted on the bottom and just cooked through without being rubbery, 2 minutes longer.

Arrange two scallops each on a warmed appetizer plate or four each on a warmed dinner plate. Top each scallop with a small spoonful of relish and serve immediately. Serves 3 or 4 as a main, 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

Note: If you can’t find fresh wasabi, substitute prepared wasabi or use wasabi powder and follow the package directions: typically 1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) powder is mixed with 1 tbsp. (15 ml) water to form a paste.

Wasabi paste


2½ oz. (70 g) fresh wasabi root (about 3 roots, each 2½ in/6 cm long)


Rinse the wasabi under cool running water. Use a vegetable brush to scrub the root and then pat dry with paper towels. If the stems are still attached, trim off just below their base. Use a paring knife rather than a peeler to trim the top (thick end) of the root and then the nodules along the root’s length to expose the green flesh. Trim only as much as you plan on grating.

With the thick end of the wasabi held perpendicular to the grater, press firmly and use a small circular motion to grate, producing a small pile of mashed plant. (If you have sensitive eyes, you might want to invest in a pair of onion goggles).

Once the wasabi is grated, press on the paste with the flat side of a chef’s knife to further release the flavours and maximize taste. Then by hand, gather and press the grated wasabi into a small ball and let it breathe at room temperature for a few minutes, allowing it to further maximize taste. The paste is now ready to use. Makes 3 tablespoons (45 ml) paste.

Note: According to top sushi chefs, 10 minutes after prep is the optimal time to serve freshly grated wasabi; the flavour will “peak” after 20 to 30 minutes. The taste can be reinvigorated by remixing it and forming a new ball or even adding a pinch of sugar to reactivate the enzymes.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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