Warning: Food in this post may cause incoherant babbling and sighs/moans of agreement.
Scallops wrapped in bacon make me weak in the knees. I always order them if I see them in a Japanese restaurant and The Koala is a big fan of them too. The ingredients are a bit expensive, but making them at home is far cheaper than eating them at a restaurant and you’ll probably get much more.
Fresh vs. Frozen
It’s no longer scallops season here, but not long ago my seafood guy was peddling some fat scallops from Nelson. Although they were frozen, I thought I’d give them a spin. While fresh scallops are always better, frozen scallops are better than none at all. If using frozen scallops, defrost overnight in the fridge and make sure you drain them very well because a lot of liquid will appear on thawing. Never thaw scallops in water as this affects the texture and flavour.
I think I was supposed to receive a dozen scallops, but I actually got 14 scallops. I took the extra 2 as an amuse bouche that we enjoyed while photographing. That’s why you see an extra 2 scallops in the before photo and which didn’t make it to the after photo. Don’t judge me, you’d do the same.
Furikake is a Japanese seasoning that I have blogged about before and can be found at most Asian grocers, perhaps even your local supermarket in the condiments or international section. A tasty mixture of dried fish, sesame seeds, seaweed, salt, sugar and MSG, this is usually sprinkled on top of rice, but is also great for bringing out umami flavours in any dish. There are vegetarian variations that contain no fish and I’ve seen mushroom furikake too. Furikake comes in single-use sachets or in small vials.
You’ll need 4 bamboo skewers for this recipe. Some recipes require soaking but I find these are cooked so quickly there is no chance of burning.
Yakitori-Style Scallops and Bacon
Makes 4 skewers
- 12 fat scallops with roe intact
- 6 slices of free range streaky bacon
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 tablespoons sake
- (optional: a teaspoon of grated ginger)
- Wasabi mayo (2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixed with 1 teaspoon wasabi)
- Furikake (Japanese seasoning)
- Spring onions (scallions), sliced
- Put marinade ingredients into a small jar. Cover with lid and shake until well combined.
- Drain scallops and gently pat dry.
- Cut each strip of bacon in half and carefully wrap a piece of bacon around a scallop, making sure the roe is next to where the bacon strip overlaps itself. This way you can skewer the bacon overlap, then the roe, then the white part of the scallop and finally other side of the bacon for a more secure skewer. Have all the scallops facing the same way (as pictured).
- Repeat with the rest of the scallops and bacon, 3 per skewer. Drizzle the marinade on top and sit aside for 15 minutes.
- Add a little oil to a hot heavy pan/skillet lay the skewers bacon side down. This is important as the bacon takes longer to cook than the scallops. Cook bacon side for 6-8 minutes on high heat, turning skewers once to the other bacon side. Scallops do not touch the pan (see photo).
- Once cooked through, transfer to a plate and dot each scallop with wasabi mayo. Sprinkle with furikake and sliced spring onions (scallions).
- Serve with furikake rice and sauteed bok choy or with just a couple bottles of Asahi.