Scallops. Aren’t they fancy? Reserved for black tie, white tablecloth affairs. Pure indulgence, right? Not really. These succulent marshmallows of the sea are surprisingly inexpensive and easy to cook.
Now, you could always just sear them off with salt and pepper and call it a day. But you could take a little time and glaze the scallops with blood oranges and miso paste.
Miso blood orange scallops are a delightful fusion of Asian and citrusy flavors. The scallops are seared in olive oil to create a beautifully caramelized crust and bathed in a luscious sauce made from blood orange juice, miso paste, and shallots. The result is a dish that is both sweet and savory.
Blood oranges, with their deep red color, are rich in anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect your body against oxidative stress.
Scallops are a great source of lean protein and are low in fat. Basically, this dish is a nutritious choice for seafood lovers.
The miso paste adds a unique umami flavor to the dish. The red miso has a much stronger, saltier flavor than its white and yellow counterparts, but they all have an interesting, earthy, umami-packed flavor profile that will spice up a wide range of dishes.
MISO BLOOD ORANGE SCALLOPS
- Large pan
- 1/2 tsp blood orange zest
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 2 tbsp red miso paste
- 1/2 lb dry sea scallops
- coarse salt and black pepper freshly ground for seasoning
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tsp unsalted butter
- 2 nos. fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp shallot minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely minced
- To make the orange miso sauce, whisk together the blood orange zest, juice, and miso paste. Set aside.
- Warm a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season very lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add the scallops and thyme and let them get a good sear (2-3 minutes).
- When the scallops are well-browned on both sides, transfer them to a plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the shallots to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring.
- Add the miso blood orange mixture to the pan, and whisk to combine.
- Let this simmer for about 30 seconds.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter and the parsley.
- Spoon the sauce over the scallops and serve.
- To ensure perfectly seared scallops, make sure your pan is really hot and scallops are completely dry before adding them. This will help create a beautiful golden crust.
- Serve these cooked scallops over a bed of steamed brown rice or alongside a fresh green salad for a complete meal.
- Cooked greens like roasted bok choy, kale, or even scallion greens drizzled with toasted sesame oil go well as an accompaniment to this dish.
- Consider garnishing the dish with toasted sesame seeds or a sprinkle of chopped scallions. Toasted walnuts or slivered almonds can also make a great addition to the miso blood orange scallops dish.
- Japanese white cooking wine, also known as mirin, can be added to the miso orange sauce to add a subtle sweetness. Rice wine vinegar works well enough too.
- Use paprika while searing the scallops for a mildly different spice level and a richer aroma. Place the scallops on the pan paprika side down and sear it well to get the most flavor.
- If you don’t have miso on hand, you can try using soy sauce or even Worcestershire sauce as an alternative.