I love seafood and I love Asian flavors. This recipe is a wonderful marriage that borrows heavily from a few exceptional dishes I’ve had in Portland, ME, Wilmington, NC and San Francisco…and Las Vegas. It’s an easy marinade that works well with scallops, shrimp or wild Pacific salmon. I’m showing it here with scallops as they are now abundant in New England. We often serve them atop a nice stir fry with soba noodles.
1 pound dry sea scallops
1/2 cup low sodium Tamari (You can use soy sauce if that’s what you have, but use low sodium).
1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
1 tsp maple syrup
2 cloves pressed or finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp of grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp of Sriracha (or similar spice sauce)
1 tsp lime juice
Mix the marinade and pour over scallops in a non-reactive bowl such as ceramic, glass or stainless. Leave the scallops in the marinade for up to an hour. Heat two tablespoons of grapeseed (or other high smoke point oil) and 1 tablespoon butter in a high sided skillet (or any good skillet, or heavy gauge fry pan. Once the oil and butter are hot, turn the heat to medium high and gently place the scallops in the pan. Sear for 3-4 minutes until the first side begins to show a brown crust, then gently turn and sear for another 3 minutes.
Remove the scallops and serve over rice and vegetables. If you’re doing a stir fry, you can use the reserved liquid from the marinade for added seasoning.
You can sear shelled shrimp with this marinade, paying close attention to not overcook them.
If you want to do it with wild Pacific salmon, set the salmon, flesh side down in a pan with the marinade already covering the bottom. Again, let it sit for up to an hour. Use a sharp knife to score the skin with a couple of slashes to ensure even heat. I like to grill the salmon, skin side down for a couple of minutes before moving the fillet off the direct heat and covering the grill. After five minutes or so, I’ll gently flip the fillet over and sear it directly over the coals for a minute or two to crisp the flesh just a bit and caramelize the syrup.