Seared Sea Scallops with Pea Tendrils and Sichuan Peppercorns

spicy seared sea scallopsDRESSING
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
 a few chopped dried red Thai peppers (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon lightly crushed Schezuan (Sichuan) peppercorns

1 1/4 lbs very large sea scallops (about 10–14 depending on size)
coarse sea salt
black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
whole dried red Thai peppers (as many as you can handle)
1 bunch pea tendrils (15–20 ounces)
salt and pepper

1. Add all the ingredients into a small jar and shake vigorously.

1. Heat a large straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle each scallop with a little salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in the sauté pan. Slip the scallops into the pan evenly distributed. Cook them on one side with out moving them for about 5 minutes (depending on size), until golden brown. Flip, and cook until opaque, 30–45 seconds more. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set in a warm place.

1. Reduce heat to medium, and add the two oils to the pan. Add chili peppers and heat through about 15 seconds. Put all the tendrils into the pan along with a little salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until barely wilted, less than 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, top them with scallops, and pour the dressing over everything. Serve immediately.


NOTE: This is my technique for getting a good crunchy crust on scallops. If you prefer them with a bit less color there are other cooking methods. But the bold flavors in the recipe call for bold texture in the scallops. This method gives you both crunch and smooth!

This recipe is for extremely large scallops. 10–12 per pound size. You may need to adjust cooking times for smaller scallops. But A good rule is as soon as they get good and crisp and golden on one side flip them and cook another 30–45 seconds. No more.


Seared Sea Scallops with Pea Tendrils and Sichuan Peppercorns 

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