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Scallop crudo

There is nothing better than fresh seafood.  Eventhough I live in Southern California, the seafood is nothing like the East Coast, especially Nantucket!  My daughter introduced me to Nantucket Bay scallops which she calls "the gems of the ocean" for good reason.  On my recent trip to Nantucket, I brought a bottle of yuzu pepper in my luggage to have with the fresh scallops.  My daughter showed me how to go scalloping (fishing for scallops) which was fun.  I also had the opportunity to go out on a commercial scalloping boat which was really eye opening.  I captured this trip on video.

However, the best part of the experience was, no doubt, eating them, freshly shucked! I brought home fresh Nantucket Bay scallops to make my favorite scallop sushi / sashimi / crudo recipe.  This scallop crudo is undoubtedly the easiest and most amazing appetizer!

What is a crudo?  Crudo means "raw" in Italian and Spanish.  Many trendy restaurants these days serve some sort of crudo.  This is usually thinly sliced raw seafood with an acidic dressing which is somewhat similar to sashimi which the Japanese have served for years! 

Tips for making Scallop Crudo

Scallops

Scallop crudo is a very simple dish.  It's the combination of the ingredients and simple techniques that are used to allow the raw seafood to shine.  If you are able to use fresh scallops, especially Nantucket Bay scallops, these are my crudos of choice.  Although the scallops are smaller in size, they make up in the flavor and texture!

Most scallops have 2 adductor muscles. The large striated muscle is what is familiar to most people because this makes up the majority of the scallop, but there is also a smaller muscle called the smooth muscle that connects to the striated muscle by some connective tissue.  I mention this so that when you slice the scallop in half, along the "equator", take advantage of the connective tissue that will form a hinge which allows the scallop to be butterflied but remain intact.

If you are using frozen scallops, defrost them in a sieve to allow the liquid to drain and make sure to dry them with a paper towel to remove as much of the liquid as possible.

Serve the crudo on a heat-resistant platter since you'll be torching them.

Bringing out the scallop flavor.

The combination of heat, salt and acid makes this delicacy shine. Torching the scallops brings out the flavor.  The best method is to torch the exterior surface of the scallops using a butane kitchen torch. 


In addition to torching the scallops, a little dollup of yuzu pepper is spread and a combination of coarse ground sea salt, lime juice and shiso leaf are sprinkled to create this edible symphony with each ingredient contributing to the whole!

Coarse ground salt is better than table salt.  The salt crystals are large and provide an explosion of flavor and also a little crunch.  

coarse sea salt

Yuzu pepper

Yuzu pepper is used in Sushi restaurants.  It is liquid gold!  A little goes a long way and this ingredient makes all the difference to the taste of the scallop crudo.

Shiso leaf

Shiso leaves are usually found in Asian cuisine, especially in sushi. Shiso leaves are credited to having antibacterial properties which may be why Japanese have used shiso leaves for centuries to prevent or slow down the spoilage of raw fish and seafood.  There are 2 varieties of shiso leaves: red and green.  The green shiso is more commonplace. Shiso leaves have a refreshing, citrusy flavor with hints of the warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and mint.  It has a somewhat astringent flavor and a herbily finish, particularly the red shiso leaves.  These leaves, like green leafy vegetables, can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days covered between damp paper towels.  Finely slice or chiffonade the shiso leaves to provide a contrast flavor profile to the sweet scallops!  Enjoy and don't be afraid to custom order this combination the next time you find yourself at a sushi restaurant!

Scallop crudo

SCALLOP CRUDO

Michelle Sam
A way to prepare fresh / defrosted raw scallops that allows them to shine
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 41 kcal

Equipment

  • Heat resistant platter
  • Kitchen butane torch

Ingredients
  

  • 8 fresh raw scallops Assuming 4 Bay scallops per person. Less scallops required if larger scallops are used. Defrosted, see blog tips.
  • Yuzu pepper
  • coarse sea salt
  • fresh lime juice
  • 2 shiso leaves
  • thinly sliced leeks / scallions for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Halve scallops to ½" (1cm) height, allowing the small striated muscle to be used as a hinge when butterflied.
    8 fresh raw scallops
  • Place the interior side onto a heat resistent platter and torch the exterior of each scallop.
  • Flip each scallop over so that the interior of the scallop is facing up.
  • Place a dab of yuzu pepper on each half of the scallop.
    Yuzu pepper
  • Add coarse salt grains to each hald (about 3 to each half)
    coarse sea salt
  • Squeeze a drop or two of fresh lime juice onto each half.
    fresh lime juice
  • Chiffonade the shiso leaves and sprinkle onto each half.
    2 shiso leaves
  • Garnish with finely sliced leeks.
    thinly sliced leeks / scallions

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 2gCalories: 41kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 7gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 235mgPotassium: 123mgVitamin A: 2IUCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.2mgNet Carbohydrates: 2g
Keyword crudo, scallop
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