Japanese cooking;Seared sea scallops with citrus soy ginger sauce

 Recent years, more and more Japanese food or condiment are getting popular, and I have started seeing more Japanese products displayed at the local grocery stores and started seeing menu that might have inspired chefs at the restaurant to offer Japanese dish to customers.

 Often times, Japanese dishes served here are not exactly have the same authentic flavor, but I am happy that many more people are interested in our food culture.

 One time in the past, me and my husband have sat down at seafood bar in the local grocery store, and we have ordered pan seared scallops with citrus soy sauce. Scallop was tender and sauce was good. I am not sure if they made the sauce from scratch but it was good. It was not exactly the flavor I remember from authentic ponzu sauce, and it was rather sweet version of citrus soy sauce but it was good.

What is “Ponzu” sauce?

 Citrus soy sauce is popular Japanese sauce, and they are called “Pon zu” sauce. You might have seen them or heard somewhere on TV,restaurant,grocery store aisle. Often times, it comes with Sashimi, Tempura, Gyoza (Pot stickers) as dipping sauce.

 If you have tasted the real Ponzu sauce, it is salty,sour,vinegary sauce. In Japan, Ponzu is made with citrus called “yuzu”. Yuzu looks like a mandarin orange in appearance and it tends to be tart,sour taste.

 You can see the picture of “yuzu” at wikipedia website here .

 “Ponzu” is generally made with mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine),rice vinegar,konbu (kelp) or bonito flakes, and when mixed liquid is cooled down, mixture of liquid is strained through sieve, and juice from yuzu is added. Therefore, the sauce tends to be salty,sour taste.

 “Ponzu” bottle you would see at grocery stores will be “ponzu soy sauce”. It is basically mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine),rice vinegar, konbu (kelp) or bonito flakes are mixed to simmer, and when mixed liquid is cooled down, liquid mixture is strained through sieve,and  juice from yuzu is added, and then, soy sauce is also added at the end.

 The citrus soy sauce we have tasted at the seafood bar at the grocery store was not exactly the real authentic citrus soy sauce, because it was sweet, but I thought it is a nice change. And I thought I would share the recipe of my version of sweet citrus soy sauce ( Citrus soy ginger sauce) with you.

 So, how do you make “Seared sea scallops with citrus soy ginger sauce” ? Here is how.

Seared sea scallops with citrus soy ginger sauce..

<How to sear the sea scallops>

0. Place a paper towel over the plate, place sea scallop on top by making sure there is no duct is still attached to the scallop

1. Place another piece of paper towel over the scallop and press lightly to take off any moisture out from the scallop

** Wet scallops would not make any good seared mark

2. Place the skillet on high heat and heat the skillet hot enough to sear the scallop.

** Cold skillet would not make nice seared mark on scallop

** You can test the temperature by wet your hands,then flick/sprinkle water drops onto the skillet. If you hear the sizzles,the skillet is hot enough.

3. Add a bit of Extra virgin olive oil and about 1 tbs of butter onto skillet

4. Lightly season sea scallop with Morton’s Nature’s seasons with blue cap, and place the scallop on the skillet and leave them alone

** Make sure the skillet is not overcrowded with scallops. If too many scallops were on the skillet, it is rather being steamed than being seared. And, do not move it around,just leave them alone.

5. After a couple of minutes or so, if seared mark were on the scallops,flip them and cook through.

 As a fool proof way to cook the scallops, you can bake them in the oven.

<How to make oven baked scallop>

 1. Preheat the oven at 400F

 2. Place paper towel over small plate,place sea scallop, and cover it
with another paper towel and press a little to take moisture out from
the scallop

 3. Line the non stick foil in baking sheet, place pat dried scallop, sprinkle Morton’s Nature’s seasons with blue cap a little

 4. Place scallop with baking sheet in the oven and bake about 8 – 12 minutes.

<citrus soy ginger sauce>

1. To the sauce pan, add 3tbs soy sauce, 6tbs rice vinegar,6 tbs dark brown sugar, a little bit of grated ginger, and simmer to dissolve the sugar in the sauce

2. Pour the sauce onto small bowl and add juice from 1/2 lemon, and 1/4 lime and mix well

3. Pour the sauce over the seared scallops when serve

 In the picture, you will see sliced white onion, and sugar snap peas, and brown rice. You can make them easy.

<sliced white onion, and sugar snap peas>

1. Slice white onion, sugar snap peas

2. To skillet, add about 1tbs butter and when skillet is hot enough, add onion/sugar snap peas and season them with Morton’s Nature’s seasons with blue cap.

3.Serve them along with scallops.

<Brown rice>

1. Pour 1C of brown rice or 3/4C brown rice with 1/4C wild rice and add 2 1/4C chicken broth, and 2tbs butter and stir, let them come to boil

2. Turn the heat down to simmer, cover the pan with lid and cook for 30 minutes.

** 1C of uncooked rice should make about 3 adult servings. You can look the cooking instruction on your preferred brand of rice package and adjust amount of liquid,rice, and cooking time.

** If you serve the scallops with rice, start rice first, and then start working on either vegetable or scallops.

 I have used the citrus soy ginger sauce for seared sea scallops but you can swap the protein source of your choice;chicken,fish etc. All you do is just cook them on the skillet and sauce over them. As long as the protein source of your choice does not have strong unique flavor
such as Lamb,Turkey, the sauce would work.

 What would you do if you had leftover meat,vegetable,rice etc?

** If you had leftover citrus soy ginger sauce, next day, you can saute the sliced vegetable, meat that were cut to strip shape, with Morton’s Nature’s seasons with blue cap and pour the leftover citrus soy ginger sauce and when vegetables,meat are cooked through, add slurry (mixture of corn starch and water) to thicken up the sauce and pour them over rice and you can have easy one pot dish next day.

** If
you had leftover meat&brown rice&citrus soy ginger sauce, next day, you can saute the
chopped vegetable, chopped meat (might be better with chicken,pork etc. ,not seafood) with Morton’s Nature’s seasons with blue cap and add leftover brown rice and mix well and, right before serving the dish, you can pour a bit of citrus soy ginger sauce to the vegetable,meat,rice mixture, and stir and,you can have healthy version of fried rice with citrus soy ginger sauce next day.

 Enjoy! 

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Dec 14, 2010 | Comments are off | Uncategorized

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