Bon Appétit (August 2011)
We've been lucky enough to have eaten at our fair share of fancy restaurants. And more than a few times, we have ordered some version of a scallop crudo. You see it there, lurking among the first courses on menus. And it pops up, occasionally, on cooking competition shows.
It seems so upscale, so refined, so (dare we say it?) classy.
So we wanted to make it ourselves, and Bon Appétit gave us the perfect excuse with this recipe from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dan Kluger, current kings of the fancy restaurants in New York City.
And there was one thing we were shocked to find about this recipe.
It's dead easy.
This scallop crudo took us a matter of minutes to assemble. And not only do you not have to turn on an oven (a blessing in these dog days of summer), you don't even need to fire up the stove top or nuke anything in the microwave.
It's no-cooking cooking!
We did make one tiny substitution in this recipe. For the life of us, we couldn't find a fresh Thai chile. We went to two supermarkets and an Asian specialty store and turned up empty handed. But we did find a jar of dried Thai "bird eye chilies" in the international aisle of one market. We reconstituted the dried chilies in a little warm water and sliced them into the crudo. The only reason we bring that up is to say that our crudo was spicy. Like, surprisingly spicy. Maybe that's the intent; or maybe our dried chili had a more concentrated kick than we would find in a fresh one.
Regardless, our suggestion is that whether you buy fresh or dry chilies, to taste them before they're added to the dish. Then add the amount of chili that works for you.
Despite the surprising heat, this crudo was excellent. The dressing is a marvelous balance of tart citrus, spicy ginger and bracing soy sauce and vinegar. It's a perfect match for the naturally sweet and fatty scallops. The mint really brightens everything up, too. And on the plate, it's just darn beautiful.
This dish was a big success. We suggest serving it the next time you throw an upscale multi-course dinner (or the next time you want to impress guests without even turning on the stove).
Just don't dare tell them how easy it is.
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably organic
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 red Thai chile, thinly sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
- 1/2 pound large sea scallops, side muscle removed, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
- Sea salt
Whisk orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, oil, ginger, chile, and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour dressing onto 4 large rimmed plates. Arrange scallops over. Garnish with mint and chives. Season lightly with salt.