Stir-fried scallops with spinach and forbidden rice.

I keep thinking one of these days would be the perfect day to stay home from work and bask in my own laziness. I don’t know which day yet, but I feel like Seattle’s gloomy, fall-like weather calls for at least one long, slovenly day of laying on the couch in front of the fire, watching old movies. Doesn’t that sound cozy? And baking pies. Pumpkin pies. Lots of ’em.

Contrary to some of my less-than-angelic foodie tendencies, last night’s dinner, while very special and preceded by an oh-so-deserved lazy Sunday, was quite nutritious, not to mention thoroughly delicious. After much pondering and searching of the vast interwebs, I decided on a recipe out of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, a cookbook by fellow blogger Grace Young. Although I had purchased the cookbook many months ago (during my stir-frying kick back in April), I had had yet to test out a recipe. Last night was the night. I bring you: Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy Spinach. (I did not happen to have baby bok choy on hand at the time.)

Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Spinach

Ingredients

6 ounces medium fresh sea scallops
1 tablespoon chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon chili bean sauce
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 1 cup)
2 chopped scallions

Directions

1. Rinse the scallops under cold water, removing the muscle and any visible bits of shell or grit, and set on paper towels. With more paper towels, pat the scallops dry. Cut the scallops horizontally in half so all the pieces are about 1/2 inch thick. In a small bowl combine the broth, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch.

2. Heat 12-inch skillet over high heat until very hot. Swirl in 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, add the ginger and garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry for 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Push the aromatics to the sides of the skillet. Carefully add the scallops and spread them evenly in one layer in the pan. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the scallops begin to sear. Sprinkle on 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the scallops are opaque but not cooked through. Transfer the scallops to a plate.

3. Swirl the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil into the wok, add the spinach and bell peppers, sprinkle on the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the spinach just begins to wilt. Return the scallops with any juices that have accumulated to the wok. Restir the broth mixture, swirl it into the wok, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the scallops are just cooked. Stir in the scallions.

4. Serve over 1/2 cup cooked forbidden rice. Yes, I added this step. Forbidden rice is kinda my new favorite thing.

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