Friday, April 3, 2009

CSA week 17 - orange-miso glazed scallops and bok choy

I'm not generally fond of fruit in savory dishes, but orange juice is a borderline case. I'm not saying I'm a fan, but I'm willing to consider it as an ingredient. Tonight I wanted to use at least one of the oranges as part of dinner. And also the bok choy which narrowed things down a bit.

I found a few different possibilities, but the one that appealed was this recipe I found at a vegan website,

1/3 cup orange juice [from one CSA orange if you juice it right]
4 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 tablespoon shiro miso
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (vary amount to suit your preferences)
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 scallions, chopped [I was all out so I used red onion, chopped fine]

I don't think I've ever had orange with miso, but it sounded like it might work. They used it to glaze tofu, but I'm all out and I thought those flavors would work well with scallops too.

So, I mixed up the glaze and set it aside, brined some scallops, blanched the bok choy for a couple minutes (for the stems, just one for the leaves), and made some rice.

I was about to add the scallops to the pan when I had the brainwave to see if I could make a sesame crust so I dipped them in a bowl of sesame seeds first. Not great results; some of the seeds stuck, some didn't, but they all prevented the scallops from getting a good sear.

Once the scallops looked mostly done I added the bok choy and the sauce and turned up the heat to cook it down to a glaze. You may see the flaw in that plan. Once I noticed that I was over-cooking the scallops and boy choy I fished them out and let the sauce cook down for a couple minutes before putting them back, tossing them in the not-as-sticky-as-one-might-hope glaze and pouring everything out into bowl for serving.

Overcooking aside, the flavor combination is pretty good. The sauce is sweet but not cloying and complex with savory, spicy and tart notes too. The real question is would it be better with lemon instead of orange? And I'm going to say no. The orange brings a roundness to the citrus notes that pairs with the miso to tie the sauce together. Or maybe I'm talking crap there; I'm really not sure. If I'm not, then its worth trying with Myer lemons too as those may work as well without making you think "Is there orange in here?" the way this does.

1 comment:

kat said...

Hmmm, I typically like the flavor of orange with Asian flavors but you are right it does tend to stick out more than blend