Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Megan's Miso-Glazed Scallops (or Tofu) with Soba Noodles

My friend Megan is one of those people who always brings her lunch to work. Because she is a good, good person. And whenever she heats up her food, you can smell it and it just makes your tummy growl. She's also an adventurous cook, which I adore about her, and isn't afraid to try new things. A lot of her leftovers make their way into her lunches and you're always so jealous that you weren't there at dinner with her the night before.


In honor of our current theme of quick & easy go-to meals, Megan submitted one of hers, with credit to one of her favorite food magazines, Eating Well:


Miso-Glazed Scallops with Soba Noodles

Megan's note: If you don't like scallops, you can easily substitute tofu, shrimp, or your protein of choice, and it is still easy to make and very tasty.

Makes 4 servings

8 ounces soba noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
3 tablespoons white miso (see Ingredient notes)
2 tablespoons mirin (see Ingredient notes)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound dry sea scallops (see Ingredient notes), tough muscle removed OR tofu
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced scallions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, whisk miso, mirin, vinegar, canola oil, ginger and garlic in a medium bowl. Add scallops and stir gently to coat. Let marinate for 5 minutes (scallops will begin to break down if marinated longer). Using a slotted spoon, remove the scallops, reserving the marinade for the sauce.

3. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the reserved marinade to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until brown, about 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the noodles, add scallions and toss to coat. Top with scallops and serve immediately.

Ingredient notes

Miso: Fermented bean paste made from barley, rice or soybeans used in Japanese cooking to add flavor to dishes such as soups, sauces and salad dressings. A little goes a long way because of its concentrated, salty taste. Miso is available in different colors, depending on the type of grain or bean and how long it's been fermented. In general, the lighter the color, the more mild the flavor. It will keep, in the refrigerator, for more than a year.

Mirin: A low-alcohol rice wine essential to Japanese cooking. Look for it in the Asian or gourmet-ingredients section of your supermarket. An equal portion of sherry or white wine with a pinch of sugar may be substituted for mirin.

We prefer cooking with "dry" sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops that have been treated with STP ("wet" scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are not only mushy and less flavorful, but will not brown properly.

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