I have such fond memories of living in Beijing, where I discovered one of my all-time favorite meals – the mouthwatering Steamed Scallop with Glass Noodles. The delicate flavor of the scallops perfectly complemented the texture of the glass noodles, creating a dish that was both satisfying and unforgettable.
These steamed scallops with a salty-sweet soy sauce and caramelized minced garlic were a culinary delight on the half shell. To buy them, you had to commit to buying at least three, but at $2 a pop, even if I was the only one who would be eating them, that was not a problem!
Purchase of Scallops: Some Advice
When shopping for shucked scallops, it’s important to remember that different types can be quite different. The fishmonger will gladly tell you what he has in stock, and you can then set your budget accordingly.
The term “wet scallop” refers to the fact that the scallops have been shucked and placed in water immediately after being caught. After being exposed to water, they quickly expand before cooking, only to contract again after cooling. You should know this because wet scallops are typically smaller, and you might be surprised to find that your cooked scallop has shrunk to a mini-scallop. Wet scallops, which are larger and contain more water than the other two types, are the cheapest.
Dry scallops are the same size as their wet counterparts but are not rehydrated after being caught. You can see why they cost more than wet scallops now that you know you aren’t paying for the water weight and that they are significantly bigger. Dry scallops have a more concentrated flavor that’s great for those who enjoy the seafood’s robust taste. Diver scallops are collected by divers, as the name implies. It’s no surprise that these are the most costly option out of the three available.
The scallop takes center stage in this dish and steams over a bed of mung bean glass noodles, sweet soy sauce, and caramelized garlic. The soy, garlic, and steamed scallop juices combine with the mung bean noodles to create a delicious noodle dish.
Learn how to prepare these enlightening seafood morsels here!
- 1 bundle of mung bean vermicelli noodles
- 1 pound of sea scallops (cleaned and rinsed)
- 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce or seasoned soy sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
- Put some water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Dry vermicelli noodles should be added right away and stirred for 30 seconds to prevent sticking. Drain in a colander after rinsing under cold water. Set aside. This is necessary to rehydrate and soften the noodles, but you must take care not to overcook them!
- Prepare a medium fire in a saucepan. Toss in the garlic and oil, and heat through until a light sizzle develops. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool.
- Spread the cooked mung bean noodles out in a single layer on a shallow serving plate. If you’re serving the noodles on small dim sum plates or scallop shells, be sure to divide them up so that each shell or plate has the same number of noodles. If you want to keep the sauce in the dish, use plates with a good rim.
- Spoon a little bit of garlic over the mung bean vermicelli, then place the scallops on top. Stirring occasionally, bringing the remaining garlic, oil, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to a simmer in a pot.
- Add the sugar and water, and use about a third of a cup for the simmer. Place aside.
- Turn off the heat under your steamer or pot/wok fitted with a steamer rack once the water has reached a rolling boil. Place the scallops in their shells on a plate(s) and carefully cover the steamer.
- Raise the temperature to where it is boiling. For 2 minutes if using medium or large, and 4 minutes if using jumbo, steam the scallops.
- If too much liquid is in the steamer, remove the scallops immediately and pour off some of the liquid. Scallops that are already wet will yield more liquid than those that are dry.
- If necessary, reheat the sauce and use a spoon to drizzle it evenly over the scallops. Served hot with a cilantro garnish.