I bought some stone taco bowls…when I was really looking for actual taco holders…but I thought…why not? Then, I was thinking of how to integrate more seafood and fish into my diet, but be slightly indulgent at the same time. Let’s make some sesame chicken…but use a type of seafood that I am not allergic to….scallops! BOOM! This magical idea was born. One of the elements that really makes me savor and crave certain meals is the balance of a rich sauce with a cut of citrus or vinegar in some way. We’ve covered the Chinese portion with the fried scallops with a rich sauce…let’s make a little taco bowl out of it and add some super fast “pickled” veggies to add the Korean flair…then the actual taco bowl is slightly a Mexican flair. In a small bowl, I added cucumber, carrots, orange and a red bell pepper. I added a 3 to 1 ration of sesame oil to rice wine vinegar and let it sit, while I cooked everything else. So here we have it…rich, delicate, flavorful and crunch scallops with a bite of slightly pickled and crunchy veggies to give this taco bowl some bite…but it needs something else on the bottom of the taco….something other than rice. Ok…it’s the new year and we’re all trying to make better choices….so let’s add a bed of cooked quinoa flavored in broth and seasoned…top it with our sesame scallops (finished with the sesame seeds to give it it’s name)…pickled veggies then top it with some fresh, herbaceous cilantro and scallions for that extra punch! I must tell you…It was a religious experience of texture, taste and tummy enjoyment!
Sesame Scallop Asian Fusion Taco Bowl
16 large scallops
1/3 cup corn starch
salt & pepper
4 cups peanut oil (vegetable oil can be substituted)
1 red bell pepper (1 inch length slices)
1 orange bell pepper (1 inch length slices)
1/2 cucumber (1 inch length slices)
3/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
4 Whole wheat wraps
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups low sodium chicken or seafood broth
1 bunch fresh cilantro (chopped)
3 scallions (chopped)
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
Optional – 2 cups chicken or seafood broth, 7 mushrooms, 1-2 tbsp corn starch and salt and pepper – sauce on top of scallops
Tools: oven safe taco bowls, candy/frying thermometer, rice cooker, basting brush
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a rice cooker, add broth and quinoa and stir. Add salt and pepper and set it for “white rice”. If you do not have a rice cooker, you can follow the same instructions and put it on medium to high heat, covered, for 20 minutes, but check it to make sure the liquid does not evaporate too quickly. Set aside after it is completed.
Chop cucumber and bell peppers into 1 inch length slices and place in a bowl. Add sesame oil, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
In the taco bowls, place the whole wheat wrap and form it into the bowl. Place in the 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Take them out of the bowl when cooled and set aside.
In a large frying pan or pot, pour in the peanut oil and heat it to 300 degrees. In a bowl, add corn starch and desired amount of salt and pepper and mix. Dip each scallop in the pan or pot, so that it is fully covered in the corn starch mixture. Fry each scallop until it is golden brown on all sides (about 5 minutes).
Mix the chicken or seafood broth in a bowl with the corn starch, add mushrooms, then add salt and pepper to taste. Place in a small pan on the stove until it thickens (about 5-8 minutes).
Now, it’s time to assemble the taco bowls! Take the whole wheat taco bowls and put them on a place. Gently use a basting brush to brush hoisin sauce in each taco bowl on the bottom and all sides. Next, put a bed of quinoa on the bottom of each taco (about a half cup in each taco). Drain the pickled and sesame oiled veggies and place them on top of the quinoa. Place the crunchy scallops on top of the veggies. Drizzle the sauce on top of the scallops and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of them. Scatter the fresh cilantro and scallions on top of each taco bowl to add freshness! Enjoy!!!