Wakame-encrusted Sea Scallops

27Sep09

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We can get these huge and flavorful sea scallops from Kushiro on the east coast of Hokkaido at this time of year. They are, of course, delicious broiled with garlic butter and drizzled with a little lemon juice. But this year I experimented with a new recipe using dried wakame seaweed. You should be able to find this product in any Asian food store, and maybe even a large supermarket. The packaging (photo posted below) shows how wakame looks when it is reconstituted. It swells up to about 15 times in volume and becomes a vibrant green color. In the bottom left corner is a window to the packaged contents and you can see how wakame is almost black when in its shriveled dried form. Well, we’re going to use it in this dried form.

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Ingredients:
Sea Scallops, fresh or defrosted, 10
Dried wakame, 3 Tablespoons
Corn or potato starch, 2 Tablespoons
Butter, olive oil

If the dried wakame seems a little stale or softish, stir it in an un-oiled frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes until it gets brittle. Otherwise skip that step. Place the wakame in a zip-lock bag and roll over it with a rolling pin to finely crush the wakame.

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Place the crushed wakame in a shallow bowl or dish. Press the scallops into the wakame so that they get coated by the wakame on each side.

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Let them rest for a bit, then gently toss them in corn starch. Heat an equal amount of olive oil and butter (a couple tablespoons each should be good) in a frying pan, and lay the scallops in the pan without letting them overlap. When the bottoms of the scallops are lightly browned, turn them over. If they are sashimi grade scallops, don’t cook them all the way through. Otherwise, heat till they are just barely cooked through, and then remove them from the heat. Serve the scallops on a bed of greens. Dot each scallop with a bit of butter and serve while warm.

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This is sooooo good. I made it two days in a row because I couldn’t get enough.

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