Scallops are divine little elements from the sea. When seared for just long enough, they have a crispy brown exterior while remaining soft and plump within. Their delicate flavor makes them an option for seafood fans with loved ones that don’t particularly love “fishy” tastes. Here I’ve seared them in ghee and served them with soba noodles and fresh tomato sauce. Sounds awesome. Is awesome. Isn’t hard to pull off.
There’s something really fun about eating noodles. Slurring them up in a vaporous broth, winding them around the end of a fork and battling the ones trying to escape. When you don’t have them for a while, you miss ’em. Soba noodles are a traditional Japanese noodle made from buckwheat, which makes them a dream come true for those of us trying to steer clear of gluten. Enjoy a plate of them! It’s good for morale.
I adapted an awesome recipe by Carlo Mirarchi for crushed tomato sauce which I found in this month’s Bon Appetite Magazine. It’s minimal, easy and fresh so the taste is pure and robust. I used about 8 medium to small vine tomatoes and replaced olive oil with ghee in the frying pan.
Just turn the heat to medium high, heat your oil or ghee, and place the tomatoes in there. Stir them up a bit to coat them and put the lid on to help keep the heat in so they cook down quicker.
After they’ve cooked for about ten minutes, sprinkle a small handful of spice (the original called for chili powder, I used red pepper flakes) over them and coat. Once the skin begins to crack and blister, smash each one with a wooden spoon. I pierced them a bit first so they didn’t splatter everywhere.
Turn the heat down to low so the sauce simmers while you sear the scallops and set your greens steaming. I chose to steam chard on account of it’s quick steaming time and delicacy.
Set heat to high on a big pan and melt ghee (or whichever fat). Rise scallops and remove little shell pieces, pat dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Once the pan nearly smoking, place the scallops in without them touching. Sear them for one and a half to two minutes each side. No longer!
They should have a nice crisp brown layer on each side. Get those little guys off the heat right away and onto your plate. Top with your clean fresh sauce and greens.
I garnished it a bit with toasted pumpkin seed oil just for fun and to see what it was like. It was a pleasant unexpected twist which kind of took the dish back to an Asian influence and away from the almost Italian Seafood Fusion version it was due to the tomato sauce. The dish is complete without the pumpkin oil, but it’s a nice accent if you want to try something different. Plus it makes for pretty plating photos.
Are you intimidated by scallops? Don’t be! It’s just a matter of timing 🙂
- ½ pound fresh scallops
- Half a package of 100% buckwheat soba noodles
- 8 Small to medium sized vine tomatoes
- 2 Tbs ghee or other fat
- ½ lb chard
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp toasted pumpkin seed oil (optional)
- Sea salt and pepper
- Boil water in a medium-sized pot.
- Add soba noodles and cook over low medium heat for 8 minutes or until tender. No Longer! Set a timer.
- While noodles are cooking, Start working on your sauce. Heat ghee in medium skillet and add tomatoes. Cook down until skins start to blister and split. Carefully puncture and slice as needed and add red pepper flakes. Stir and coat.
- Rinse and tear chard leaves. Place in steamer with water. Don't steam just yet.
- When noodles are done, strain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
- When tomatoes are cooked down enough, carefully smash them with a wooden spoon.
- Start steaming the chard leaves.
- Heat a large pan over high heat and add ghee (or other fat)
- Rinse and pat scallops dry. Remove any shell pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once pan is almost smoking, add scallops and sear for 1 and ½ to 2 minutes each side. No longer! Set a timer.
- Ready noodles by adding your fresh tomato sauce and steamed chard. Top with scallops as soon as they're ready.
- And you're done!
- For a more exotic flavor, add a tsp of toasted pumpkin seed oil. (Optional)