WE are incredibly lucky that some of the finest varieties of shellfish can be found in British waters and scallops are a great example of this.

Noted for their mild, sweet flavour and firm yet delicate texture, king scallops are widely available in quality fishmongers. Smaller ‘queen’ scallops from the Isle of Man are also a delicacy in this country.

Because of their unique texture and flavour, scallops can be paired with fairly robust flavours. For this reason they are popular in Oriental cuisine and are particularly tasty cooked with ingredients such as ginger, garlic and chilli.

I also frequently serve them with things like bacon, black pudding, chorizo and duck because the saltiness and fattiness of the meat perfectly complements the soft and delicate shellfish.

Scallops also work well in fish pie; their firm and silky presence provides a great contrast with flaky fish and meaty prawns.

However, one of my favourite ways to serve scallops is simply pan-fried with a little seasoning to really appreciate their fine flavour.

Many people assume that scallops are difficult to prepare and cook but that’s really not the case.

Unlike mussels and clams, scallops are normally sold already cleaned and out of their shell so there’s virtually no preparation at all.

What’s more, they take a matter of minutes to cook. Don’t be tempted to overcook scallops though or you’ll ruin their delicate flavour and texture; they are often served rare for this reason.

Today’s recipe is a really tasty Japanese-inspired dish that takes very little time to prepare.

The combination of flavours in this dish, from the sharp zingy ginger to the gentle heat of the wasabi mayo creates a perfect contrast to the soft and silky scallops.

It really is a taste sensation!

You can pick up wasabi and panko breadcrumbs in most big supermarkets nowadays and they’ll keep fresh in the store cupboard for a while.


(serves 4)

12 large scallops, cleaned and roe removed

1 tbsp panko breadcrumbs

½ tsp wasabi paste

3 tbsp mayonnaise

Squeeze of lime juice

50g pickled ginger

1 tsp butter

Oil for frying

Salt and pepper

Season the scallops with a little salt and pepper and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs (they shouldn’t be coated in crumb, just have enough to give them a subtle crunch).

Set a large frying pan over a medium heat with the butter and a little oil.

Once hot, cook the scallops for one-and-a-half minutes on one side before flipping over and cooking for one minute on the other side.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the scallops to rest in the pan for a further minute.

While the scallops are resting, mix together the wasabi, mayonnaise and lime juice and add a spoonful to each plate so that the scallops can sit on top.

Arrange a few slices of pickled ginger on the plate around the wasabi cream.

Place the scallops on top and serve.