Friday, March 9, 2018

Recipe: Braised Japanese dried scallops with fish maw and sugar snap peas

During Chinese New Year, a lot of the cooking that we do involves braising. By braising, you can infuse flavour into ingredients such as scallops, fish maw, mushrooms etc.

This year, we got some Japanese dried scallops - first, you will need to soak them for a couple of hours, then braising will only take about 30 minutes. If you want to serve them whole, you should resist from cooking them any longer or they will start to disintegrate. In the same braising liquid, I also braised some fish maw and then just before serving, I added sugar snap peas and carrots (cut into pretty flower shapes).

An auspicious dish as scallop symbolises "opening of new horizons" whereas sugar snap peas, carrots, sea moss and fish maw signify unity, good luck, exceeding wealth and abundance.

Our Chap Goh Meh dinner this year

An auspicious dish to serve during CNY - ho see fat choy (braised dried oyster with sea moss).

And to finish off our meal, some lovely pan fried nian gao with fresh coconut

Braised Japanese dried scallops with fish maw and sugar snap peas
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Serves 4-6

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp cooking oil
6 dried Japanese scallops, soaked for 2-3 hours
1 (25g) fish maw, soaked in warm water for 2 hours
1 pack sugar snap peas, topped and tailed
1/4 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp mushroom sauce
1 tbsp ginger wine
A handful fatt choy 发菜 (sea moss)

1. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 2 minutes until golden brown.

2. Add water and bring to the boil. Season with mushroom sauce and ginger wine.  Once boiling, gently lower the scallops into the sauce and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

3. After 10 minutes, add fish maw and simmer for a further 20 minutes, until the fish maw's texture is cooked to your liking.

4. Remove the fish maw and scallops with a slotted spoon (be careful not to break them as you want to serve them whole) to a serving plate.

5. Increase to medium heat. Add the sugar snap peas and carrots and then cover. Let the vegetables steam for about 1 minute, then remove and set aside.

6. Taste and season sauce with more mushroom sauce, if necessary. The sauce should be a thick, velvety consistency.

7. Place fat choy in a small bowl, then pour boiling water over it.

8. To assemble, arrange sugar snap peas on the plate followed by fish maw in the centre. Garnish wih carrots and place the scallops on the plate, topping with fat choy. Pour some of the braising sauce all over the fish maw and fat choy. Serve.

Note: Soaking the fish maw in hot/warm water will shorten its cooking time, convenient especially if you are in a rush.

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