Scallops with Dashi Made at the Table
This playful scallop dish puts a modern twist on traditional dashi, which we use to enhance the sweetness of the seared scallop. Typically made with just kombu and dried bonito flakes, we infuse the dashi with earthy, citrus tones using a hot infusion siphon. These notes pair well with the scallop and the underlying umami flavor of the broth and also create an interesting way to interact with your guest tableside. To finish, we include a few micro flowers fresh from Fresh Origins Farm to add color and personality to the dish.
The Hot Infusion Siphon is a handy tool for molecular gastronomy chefs such as Nandu Jubani, who use it to prepare hot cocktails and broths at the table.
The Hot Infusion Siphon works by heating the liquid in the lower vessel which, as it starts to evaporate, expands and starts building pressure. The only way out for the water vapor built up in the container is the siphon tube connecting the lower vessel with the top infusion chamber, but there is a lot of liquid blocking its way. As the water vapor gets heated and expands, it builds enough pressure to push the water up the siphon tube into the infusion chamber. The hot liquid becomes infused with the flavors from the dry ingredients, then drains back down into the lower vessel after a couple of minutes when you remove the heat, strained and ready to serve.
When you combine the earthy, citrus notes, the umami flavors from the dashi and the sweet tones of the scallop, you’ve got an instant hit. Plus, everybody loves tableside creations, which makes this dish as pleasing to serve as it is to eat!
This recipe yields 2 umami-rich dishes.
- The porcelain plate hails from Spain and is part of the Montgatina collection. It’s a design that is embraced by such chefs as Ferran Adria, Joan Roca and Andoni Aduriz for its artistic form and culinary function. If you are interested in this incredible collection go here and enter code word “spring” to receive a 25% discount.
Ingredients for the dashi:
- 315 ml (10.65 ounces) water
- 45 ml (1.52 ounces) Mirin
- 3 fresh ginger slices
- 2 lemongrass stalks (4 inch cut)
- 1 lemon slice
- 6 g (0.21 ounces) dried shiitake mushroom (rehydrated)
- 1 x 4in kombu piece (rehydrated)
- 1 g (0.04 ounces) dried bonito flakes
- 5 dried chili rings
- 2 lime leaves
Ingredients for Scallops
- 2 large scallops for small appetizer, 6 for regular
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- Micro flowers (we order from Fresh Origins Farm – they’re always fresh and flavorful)
- Chopped chives
1 - Arrange all ingredients in top container of Hot Infusion Siphon except water and Mirin.
2 – Add water and Mirin to the bottom container.
3 - Heat at the table, using the siphon. Place the alcohol burner under the bottom container so that the liquids are heated. This could take about 5 to 10 minutes if you start with a cold liquid so if you want to speed up the process at the table, start with warm liquid.
4- Once the liquid gets to the top container, stir gently and let it ‘brew’ for a couple of minutes.
5- Then remove the alcohol burner from beneath the bottom container. The infused liquid will drop from the top to the bottom container.
6- Carefully disassemble the siphon. Glass vessels are hot so be careful!
Making the Scallops
To sear the scallops:
1 - Heat a sauté pan over high heat.
2 - Add a tablespoon of unsalted butter and a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan.
3 - Once the oil/butter is very hot, place the scallops in the pan.
4 - Season with salt.
5 - Don’t touch them for a couple of minutes and then take a look and flip them once you see a caramel-colored crust on the underside.
6 - Once the second side has a nice crust, remove scallops from the pan.
7 - Serve immediately while their centers are still slightly translucent. When you press them with your fingers they should be soft; if they are firm they are overcooked.
Assemble and Serve
1 - Take the Hot Infusion Siphon to the table ahead of time, near the end of the previous course if there is one.
2 - Begin preparation of the broth tableside by placing the lighted alcohol burner under the bottom container.
3 - Once broth is almost done, sear the scallops.
4 - Place scallops on Montgatina bowl plate or you favorite bowl plate.
5 - Arrange 6 micro flowers around each scallop.
6 – Sprinkle chopped chives on scallop.
7 - Add one micro flower on top of the scallop.
8 - Take to the table and, using the lower vessel of the hot infusion siphon pour some dashi stock onto the plate, around scallop.
9 – Add remaining stock to a cup so that your guest can enjoy the broth independently.
Fresh Origins sells their micro flowers through distributors. To order individual quantities of micro flowers or micro greens, check out Marx Foods.
We hope that you enjoy trying this dish as much as we enjoyed sharing it!