Lightly seasoned pan-seared scallops are drizzled with reduced teriyaki sauce mixed with grated ginger and a little honey. Toasted sesame seeds on top add a lovely contrast in texture. Make these honey ginger teriyaki scallops and fall in love with the flavors.
Is it easy to make? Of course!
Is it inexpensive? Of course not! Good scallops are pricey so we can’t have them everyday even if we wanted to. Like most households, we have budget constraints too.
But what does “good scallops” mean? Are there bad scallops? I don’t know how it is in other parts of the world but, in the Philippines, when you go to the grocery, you’ll find two kinds of frozen scallops. The first kind is large, about an inch thick and two-and-a-half to three inches in diameter. Imported. Rather pricey. A pack of five to six scallops which one person can easily consume and still crave for more cost about PhP500.00 (almost USD10.00). The second kind is much smaller and much cheaper. The large pricey ones are succulent; the small cheaper ones turn rubbery during cooking.
How did we learn the difference in quality? We’ve tried both. The first time I bought frozen scallops, Speedy cooked them with bacon. We loved the scallops so much and he said he’d make the dish again when the girls were both home. He bought more scallops, chose the smaller ones and cooked them with bacon the way he did before. He immediately realized there was something wrong.
The scallops, already small, shrunk to… well, by the time they were done, they were just a little larger than beans. And when Speedy served the scallops with bacon to the girls, Sam and Alex couldn’t understand why their father and I were so excited to have them try the dish. The scallops were so tough that chewing was a serious effort.
So, we never ever bought those small cheaper scallops again. Even if we can afford the large pricey ones only occasionally, we’d rather have good scallops not so often than choke on bad scallops any time we crave for the mollusk.
Late last week, we were at the grocery and I saw packs and packs of scallops. I couldn’t resist. I got two which should be just enough to serve as an appetizer for four.
For the sauce
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce (I used Kikkoman)
- 1/4 cup sake
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey
To cook the scallops
- 12 scallops
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Make the sauce
- Pour the soy sauce, sake and mirin into a small sauce pan. Stir in the ginger.
- Boil uncovered over medium heat until reduced by half. It takes 10 to 12 minutes.
- Off the heat, stir in the honey.
Cook the scallops
- Place three or more layers of kitchen paper on your working area.
- Arrange the scallops on the layers of kitchen paper.
- Take more kitchen paper, place over the scallops then press gently to remove excess liquid.
- Sprinkle the scallops very lightly with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the two flat sides of each scallop in starch; shake off the excess.
- In a wide frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of a quarter inch.
- Lay the starched side of the scallops in the hot oil. Over VERY HIGH heat, sear the scallops for a minute or so then flip to brown the opposite side. DO NOT OVERCOOK. A total of two to three minutes cooking time is enough.
Assemble the honey ginger teriyaki scallops
- Arrange the cooked scallops on a plate.
- Drizzle the sauce over the scallops.
- Top the scallops with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve at once.