Asian food is some of the most popular in the world, no matter where you might live. One of the food trends now is Asian fusion cuisine. I am always amazed with the winning meals that restaurants create using a popular local dish from their area and then give it a twist using a typical Asian ingredient.
There are many of these dishes that I would love to prepare at home. What has stopped me is that the ingredients can be difficult to find… some only available at an Asian specialty store. I’m always browsing the aisles at my local market for new ingredients and I found two items, ponzu sauce and Black Japonica rice that inspired my meal of Seared Sea Scallops with an Orange Ponzu Reduction.
It is a simple dish that has Asian flavors and all the ingredients were available at my local market. Instead of frying or wrapping sea scallops in bacon which is so popular here in New England, I created a Japanese inspired sweet and savory orange ponzu sauce to top the tender scallops.
Orange Ponzu Reduction
- 1/2 c. orange juice
- 3 Tbsp. ponzu sauce
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes or to taste
- 1/4 tsp. grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. white wine
Bring the orange juice, ponzu sauce, lime juice, red chili flakes and ginger to a boil in a pan, lower the heat and reduce down to half. Mix the cornstarch with the white wine and stir to blend. Add to the reduction and cook until thickened.
Pan Seared Sea Scallops
To sear sea scallops, dry well and season with salt and pepper. Coat a nonstick skillet with peanut oil and heat until very hot. Add the scallops to the pan (do not crowd) and cook about 2 minutes until the scallops have a nice brown crust. Turn and cook for another 2 minutes or so until they have a nice brown crust. They should be almost firm to the touch and be a little translucent in the center. Do not over cook or they will be tough.
Prepare the sauce and any side dishes that will be served with this meal before you sear your scallops. When the scallops are done, drizzle with some of the orange ponzu sauce and sprinkle with a little extra red chili if desired.
Along side my sea scallops, I served Black Japonica rice which is a blend of Chinese black short grain rice (also known as Emperor’s rice) and a medium grain mahogany rice. It has a nice nutty, subtle sweetness with a chewy texture that went well with the soft, sweet and savory scallops. I also served steamed snow peas and carrots tossed in sesame oil.