Siba's tip...

I find that scallops are one of those ingredients that are naturally intimidating for most people to contemplate cooking at home in general. It’s perhaps something that you might order at a restaurant when feeling adventurous but rarely lands on a plate at home, unlike home-cooked prawns and calamari (squid). I’d like to assure you though that scallops are an absolutely tantalising treat even when cooked at home and, like most seafood, they cook in a few minutes. The most important thing to guard against is making sure that they aren’t overcooked – they’ll end up tough and rubbery. A few things to keep in mind so you serve up scrumptious scallops: Purchase them from a reputable supplier. High quality seafood is both safer and tastier. Fully thaw and pat dry them before marinating and cooking. It helps to lightly season the scallops and add a drizzle of lemon over them before marinating. After marinating, remove the scallops from the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature for at least 5 minutes for best results. Only then should you proceed to heat them so they don’t shrink and toughen up. Remove them from the stove before they are fully cooked – the residual heat from the pan will do the rest. This is one of the surest ways to prevent potential overcooking. If you don’t like avocado, use broccoli as a substitute. Add a dollop of cream cheese to the mixture to infuse it with a dreamy creaminess.

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Soy + Honey Scallops

Prep time

20 min

Cook time

10 min

Serves

2

Ingredients

  • 6 scallops, thawed and pat dried

Soy and honey marinade

  • 30 ml soy sauce (preferably Kikkoman)
  • 15 ml honey
  • 5 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 15 ml toasted sesame oil (alternatively, use olive oil or butter)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 ml fresh ginger, very finely grated 
  • Pinch of dried chili flakes
  • Some oil for cooking

Minted cauliflower and avo spread

  • ½ head cauliflower, stems removed
  • 125 ml full cream milk
  • ½ avocado
  • 15 ml fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Juice of a quarter lemon
  • Sea salt, to season

Pomegranate dressing

  • 60 ml pomegranate rubies, plus extra to garnish
  • 15 ml raspberry vinegar or lemon juice
  • 30 ml virgin olive oil
  • 15 ml finely diced red onion
  • 5 ml white sugar or honey to taste
  • Pinch and salt and pepper

Method

  1. Place the scallops in a shallow dish so they are ready to marinate.
  2. To make the soy and honey marinade: Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small jug and pour the mixture over the scallops. Cover the shallow dish containing the marinade-soaked scallops with a lid or cling film, and marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan. Swirl a dash of olive oil around the pan. Remove the scallops from the marinade and cook them for 1 minute on each side.
  4. Now add a spoonful on each scallop to use a s basting sauce. Cook the scallops for another minute, this time in the basting sauce (marinade) until cooked through. Do not overcook these scallops – they become rubbery.
  5. To make the minted cauliflower and avo spread: Place a saucepan over medium heat. Put the cauliflower and milk into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 8 minutes until soft. Drain off the milk.
  6. Transfer the cauliflower into a blender. Add the avocado, mint, lemon juice and season with salt. Process until smooth.
  7. To make the pomegranate dressing: Crush the pomegranate rubies using a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a small jug. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients, stir and season to taste.
  8. To serve: Place three small dollops of the minted spread on the plate. Top each with the scallops and a drizzle of the pomegranate dressing.
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