I’ve been really busy with studying for my finals so it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post. To destress from studying from finals, I decided to cook – no surprise there. We have some frozen scallops here so I decided to stir fry them with Black Bean sauce. Normally in restaurants they cook it with the whole scallop in the shell but unfortunately I don’t have access to those around this area. One of my favorite vegetables is Gao Choy or Chinese chives; a really homemade Cantonese dish is chinese chive omelette.
For the Scallop :
- 16 large bay scallop, cleaned with the “foot” removed, washed and dried
- 1 medium yellow onion, large diced
- 1 pepper, large diced
- 1/8 C black bean sauce
- 1/2 Can chicken stock, reduced sodium; fish stock can be used as a replacement mixed with water to dilute to 3/4 strength
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/8 C Chinese cooking wine
- Oil to stirfry
- several pieces of garlic, minced
- 3 stalks of scallions, minced; save some for garnish
- 2″ piece of ginger, julienned into thin strips
For the Omelette:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp water
- 3/4 C Chinese chives, small chopped and dried
- salt and pepper to taste
- soy sauce for extra flavor, optional at the end
Scallops are attached to their shell via a “foot”. When you prepare scallops, look for a small piece of scallop meat that is rectangular in shape. Pull it off the main piece and discard it. It’s really important to wash and thoroughly dry your scallop. Like REALLY dry. If you don’t dry it perfectly, your scallop won’t absorb the marinade well (. So after they have had their feet removed, washed and dried, place them into a bowl. Add the 1/8 cup of cooking wine and then 1 tsp cornstarch. Be sure that there are no clumps of cornstarch in the mixture and cover all the scallop in the wine/cornstarch liquid. Let sit for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, prep your vegetables. Large dice the onion and pepper. Mince the scallion and garlic. Julienne the ginger into really small strips. When ready, heat up the wok and once hot add in the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, stir fry the peppers and onions. Start by initially swirling the onions and peppers in the oil and ensure that they are all coated; once completed, let them sear on the bottom of the wok until slightly smoky. Cook 90% of the way through and remove from wok.
Once your wok is hot again, add a bit more oil. When it comes to temperature, stirfry the ginger, scallions and garlic until aromatic. Leave the herbs in the wok but pull them up to the side so they don’t burn on the bottom. Pour all the scallop with the marinade into the wok. Let it sit for about 30 seconds; next mix the herb mixture back through with the scallop.
Once recombined, add in the black bean sauce and mix to combine and remove from heat. The scallop should be about 80% cooked through. Remember that scallop overcook really easily so be sure that you cook it high and fast. Really high heat and really quickly. I like using Lee Kum Kee black bean sauce because it is convenient but you can make your own black bean suace as well by mashing up some black beans and combining with garlic and a few other ingredients.
At this point, there shouldn’t be anything in your wok except for leftover sauce from stir frying the scallop. Add in the fish stock and remaining 2 tsp of cornstarch and bring the mixture to a boil. Once slightly thickened , add back in the peppers, onions and scallop. Combine together and cook for another 30 seconds. Plate the scallops and garnish with remaining scallions.
Chinese Chives or Gao Choy is one of my favorite vegetables. You either love it or hate it. I definitely love them. They are long, and flat and have a mild garlic taste. They are the basis for several dim sum dishes and contribute a ton of flavor to wontons , dumplings and pot sticks. On top of that, they are pretty inexpensive.
Wash your chinese chives and slice cut them into tiny 1/4″ pieces (small dices). On the side, mix together two eggs and add in the 2 tsp of water. The water helps to make the egg a bit lighter. Once your have finished chopping the chives, combine into the bowl with the egg/water mixture.
Your should have cleaned your wok or pan from the last thing you cooked. Once cleaned, heat up the wok, heat up the oil and pour the mixture in. After the egg started to set a bit, I added a tiny pinch of salt and pepper. You don’t need much since the chives are really tasty already.
Cooking a Chinese omlette is no different than an American or French omlette – it’s to taste and texture preference. I prefer mine a bit more fried but my fiancée likes hers a bit more watery. Remove the egg from the work and serve with a bit of soy sauce (option) and enjoy!