Scallop and Shrimp Salad
Scallops and shrimp have subtle but distinctive tastes and quite different textures that work together well. To protect their differences in this recipe, they are pre cooked and marinated separately.
- There is no question that pre cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp are readily available in supermarkets and at Costco and quite economically priced. However, even after being thawed and drained, they remain water logged and pretty tasteless (hence big cocktail sauce displays nearby). This time of year medium sized Alaskan and Pacific shrimp often are on sale and well worth the slightly higher cost.
- Scallops come in two varieties: Sea Scallops that are large and tiny Bay scallops. I used Sea Scallops for this salad because they can be seared and take on a slightly caramelized flavor that complements the briny flavor of the shrimp. If they are seared at high heat for only a minute or so, the centers will still be delicately soft. Small Bay Scallops toughen when cooked over high heat; they are best for ceviche and chowders.
- I added red and yellow bell peppers for their sweetness and bright colors and Poblano chili pepper for its spice and dark green color.
½# medium white prawns, boiled, peeled, deveined, cut in half horizontally and chilled
Zest from 1 large lime
Juice from 2 fresh limes, about ¼ cup
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tbs. low salt soy sauce
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/8 tsp. Sambal Oeleck or Chinese Chili Paste
8 Sea Scallops, each cut into 4 pieces
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
¾ cup julienne cut red and yellow pepper*
¼ cup Poblano chili pepper, julienne cut
Enough fresh salad lettuce washed, broken into bite size pieces and dried for 4 servings
*Bell Peppers Julienne Cut:
Sharpen a slender blade knife. Cut 3, 1” wide wedges of yellow and red pepper. Discard seeds. Lay each wedge skin down onto a cutting board. Holding it flat and at both ends with one hand, slice away the pith of each wedge, leaving 1/8” pepper meat and skin. Cut each wedge into very thin julienne strips.
- Put prepared shrimp into a bowl. Add lime zest, 2 tbs. limejuice, 2 tbs. olive oil and 2 tbs. chopped cilantro. Toss gently with a fork until all shrimp halves are covered with sauce.
- Combine remaining limejuice, olive oil, cilantro, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and Sambal Oeleck in a bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
- Put a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. When drops of water bounce off the pan and dissolve instantly, add the scallop pieces in batches so the pieces do not touch. Without moving the pieces, let them cook for about 15 seconds until they sizzle and have a brown surface when turned. Turn and cook the other side. Total cooking time should not be more than 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and continue cooking batches until all scallop pieces are cooked. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Squeeze any remaining juice from the limes. If there isn’t any, substitute a tbs. of water. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the scallop crust remaining in the pan and add it to the sauce. Pour half of the dressing over the cooked scallops and toss to cover.
- Toss prepared lettuce with remaining dressing, and divide the greens among 4 chilled salad plates. Using a slotted spoon, divide shrimp and scallops among the 4 salads. Put the peppers into the shrimp bowl and toss to cover with the remaining dressing. Divide the peppers among the salads, setting them in mounds on top of the seafood. Sprinkle each salad with remaining chopped cilantro and serve immediately.