Sunday, March 21, 2010

fried bay scallops

i honestly thought i was done with food braised, fried or sauced. we had a few warm days, very conducive to light fare, salads dressed brightly in lemony vinaigrettes, grilled fish and vegetables. zhara welcomed the absence of scarfs, mittens and winter boots, and the arrival of the first spring flowers. which were promptly burried in snow yesterday.

yet even before the weather turned, i only cooked comfort food. matzo ball soup, hungarian goulash over spaetzle and these cheese pastries with plump raisins that zhara loves.  we did have fish one night, but pan-fried with vegetables drowned in balsamic buttersauce. perhaps it's understandable, considering the week we had. and speaking of which: thanks again to everyone who called or wrote, it was all very kind of you.

 tonight i'll try to keep things light, but first these scallops: sweet and crunchy, with a slight kick. we absolutely loved them.

1 lb bay scallops
4 tb all-purpose flour
1 ts ground ginger
1/2 ts smoked hot paprika
1/2 ts garlic powder
salt, pepper to taste
1 egg
2 tb milk
1 cup panko, possibly more

heat oil in the widest pan you have. no olive oil, something neutre like canola, sunflower or vegetable oil. mix the flour with the condiments. beat the egg with a glug of milk and a pinch of salt. line up the plates of flour, egg and panko. pat the scallops dry. put them all in the flour at the same time, but only lift a handful at a time and shake them well to remove any excess. put them through the egg, roll around in panko and fry till golden. they go very fast, about 3 minutes on side one, another 2 after they're flipped. you want the oil to come up half-way around them so you only have to turn them once. do not crowd the pan - you have to be able to see it in between the scallops. you shouldn't fry more than two batches in the same oil, panko will fall behind and burn, so use your widest pan. remove to paper towel. they're absolutely delicious, great hot or room temp. goes great with baked fries or rice. plum sauce really puts it in context. when you dip, you get a layer of crunchy spicy sweet panko, then mild scallop, almost creamy against the breading, it's a great contrast and a nice pairing of tastes.


  1. Delicious! Truly upmarket fish'n'chips, Dana! :)

    We had plum sauce with bacalhau rissoles (not homemade) and they were a great combination - it might well become our favourite condiment with fried food from here on in...

  2. These look fantastic :)I think my little one would eat these and he claims to not like scallops.

  3. O reteta superba! Mai ales ca sunt innebunit dupa fructele de mare!

  4. celia, that's what i thought too - plum sauce with all fried food. i'm still waiting for plums, this was store-bought, and it was fine, sure, but i know we can kick it up a notch when we'll make it from scratch!

    mary, my kid was already down for the night when i made these, but my husband also 'doesn't like' scallops. he cleaned his plate in 2 minutes flat.

    andrei, ma bucur ca-ti face cu ochiul! eu folosesc reteta asta si cu shrimp. de preferinta nu din cei gigantici, ci micuti care se fac repede. sunt foarte gustosi, mai ales cu sos!

  5. never tried fried scallops.. these look so crunchy..

  6. What a neat presentation - these are a nice change from the big sea scallops!


we appreciate your feedback