Cooking for my mom is always challenging. She’s not a picky eater in the standard sense, but certain ingredients that are constants in my repertoire (most cheeses and beans/legumes come immediately to mind) are not her favorites. So, for her Mother’s Day dinner, I struggled to find a recipe that she would really like, AND that would be special enough for the holiday, AND that would be relatively healthy (since fiance and I are watching our weight).
Enter this Asian-inspired dish, from Cooking Light magazine. The sea scallops are big and luscious and have a decadent texture that just screams “special occasion.” The marinade/sauce is a good balance of salty (from the soy sauce) and sweet (from the honey), but it also has a nice kick, both from the OJ and from the chili garlic sauce. There’s a lot going on, but it all comes together really nicely. As for the accompanying veggies, they couldn’t be easier. I added some beautiful local carrots to the mix, and it amped up both the flavor and the nutrition.
The dish was a big hit, and it was actually quite simple and quick to prepare. I even used the same marinade on chicken last night, and it was super flavorful. So, even though scallops are a bit expensive and more of a once-in-a-while treat, I think the ideas behind this recipe will stay in my arsenal for a good long while. Enjoy!
Combine first 6 ingredients and 1 teaspoon oil in a shallow baking dish; add scallops to dish in a single layer. Marinate 4 minutes on each side.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove scallops from dish, reserving marinade. Add scallops to pan; sauté 1 minute on each side or until almost done. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm. Place remaining marinade in pan; bring to a boil. Return scallops to pan; cook 1 minute. Toss noodles with salt and green onions. Place 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 3 scallops, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon sauce.
Steamed peas vinaigrette: Steam 1 cup snow peas and 1 cup trimmed sugar snap peas, covered, 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Combine with 1/3 cup thinly sliced radishes. Combine 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons canola oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons mirin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt; stir with a whisk. Pour over peas mixture; toss.