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Categories: Appetizers, Fish and shellfish

Seared Scallops With Scallop Tartare

Looking at upscale restaurant menus these days, you'd think there was no longer any such thing as plain old scallops. It seems like everyone feels obliged to include information about where the scallops come from and how they were harvested. ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes | Serves 6
Note: At the Water Grill, this is also topped with a few slices of black truffle, with truffle trimmings added to the tartare. Look for a light-colored soy sauce such as the Japanese usukuchi variety.

Paprika oil

  • 1/4 cup grape seed or mild olive oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon paprika

Step 1Heat the oil in a small saucepan just until warm, then stir in the paprika. Cover it and let stand it several hours to overnight, then decant the oil into a small bottle and cover tightly.

Scallops

  • 1/2 pound large sea scallops (4 to 6)
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot or red onion, rinsed in a strainer
  • 1 teaspoon minced green onion
  • Dash dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon best-quality soy sauce
  • About 1 cup peanut or other mild vegetable oil
  • 6 very thin slices lotus root
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Paprika oil, for garnish, optional

Step 1Inspect the scallops; on the shorter side of each you will probably find a small patch of whiter muscle with a denser, more fibrous texture than the rest. Trim and discard these pieces or save them in the freezer for seafood stock. Choose enough large scallops to yield 6 uniform 1/4-inch slices and set the slices aside. Mince the remaining scallops and odd pieces by hand so the largest bits are less than 1/4 inch in size. Combine with the shallot, green onion, pepper flakes and soy sauce. (This can be prepared to this point several hours ahead of serving.)

Step 2Place a mound or cylinder of the scallop tartare in the center of each plate. Heat a wok or medium skillet over medium-high heat and add oil to a depth of at least 3/4 inch. Heat the oil until a lotus slice sizzles immediately on contact, then fry the lotus slices until light golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Remove with a skimmer and drain. Pour the oil out of the pan (it can be saved for other cooking uses), wipe out any excess clinging to the pan, and return the pan to the heat.

Step 3Season the scallop slices lightly with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan, and cook until seared on both sides and flecked with golden brown, about 30 seconds per side. Lay a lotus chip, then a seared scallop slice on top of each serving of tartare. Garnish the plates with a drizzle of Paprika Oil, if desired.

Each serving:
117 calories; 185 mg sodium; 11 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 3 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.43 gram fiber.
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