As mentioned in the two-part series published earlier this week, I was recently in Tokyo and had a fantastic dish at the Tsukiji Market. While I was exploring the market, I came across a street vendor who was cooking scallops and other seafood items on the half-shell over a gas grill. While speaking and working with the chef, I found out it was a very easy process and quite tasty. He uses an open flame or a blowtorch to cook this, which I know is not practical onboard, but there are ways to create the same experience to enjoy this specialty in-flight. Here is how I recreated the dish on my flight:
- 4 each Scallops U-10 size
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Oil
- 4 each Fresh Scallop Shell Halves, cleaned
- 4 ounces Whole Butter
- 1 ounce Fresh Garlic, minced
- 2 ounces Ponzu Sauce
- 1 ounce Mirin
- ¼ ounce Shichimi Togarashi or Red Pepper Flakes
- 4 ounces Wakame (Seaweed Salad)
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) Gomashio (Toasted Sesame Seeds)
- 4 each Scallion Straws
- 4 each Lemon Wedges
- Pat dry the scallops with a clean, dry towel.
- Preheat a sauté pan over high heat and add oil.
- When oil is smoking, carefully add the larger surface of the scallops to the pan.
- Quickly sear one side of the scallop until light brown in color, then remove from the pan.
- Place the scallops into the center of each of the shells.
- Place into refrigeration and cool to proper safe temperatures.
- Remove the scallop-filled shells from refrigeration.
- Divide the butter, garlic, ponzu and mirin equally between the four shells.
- Place the shells into an aircraft appropriate oven tin.
- Cover with the paper board lid and store in refrigeration until time to cook.
- When it is time to cook, preheat a flight oven to 325 F (162 C) for at least 10 minutes.
- Place the lid-covered oven tin with the scallop on the half shell into the flight oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Carefully remove the tin from the oven and set aside for one minute.
- On a serving plate, place the wakame slightly off-center.
- Remove the cooked scallops on the shell and place on top of the salad, slightly off-center.
- Sprinkle the gomasho and shichimi togarashi on top of each scallop and garnish with the scallop straw.
- Serve with a lemon wedge.
**Steps 1 to 6 can be done by your preferred in-flight caterer and the rest of the ingredients can be sent to you in bulk for plating and garnishing.
There are several variations based on other cuisines using ingredients and flavors endemic to that culture but the prepping of the scallop piece is the same. For a Mediterranean flare, use garlic, tomatoes and capers. For a Caribbean style scallop, use jerk seasoning with mango chutney.