Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mandarin Seared Scallops with Soba Noodles

Serves 2

I found some scallops hiding in the back of my freezer, so I Macgyvered up this meal. Macgyver Meal = a meal created with the stuff you find in your kitchen (according to HK).

5 satsuma mandarins, 3 juiced, 2 peeled and broken into sections
6 scallops
2 cloves garlic, minced
1T grated ginger
2T soy sauce
1 jalapeno, minced
3 scallions, sliced
1t brown sugar
zest from 1/2 mandarin
3T sesame oil
1/2 package of buckwheat soba noodles (my package was 12.8oz) - Jenna good idea to get these!
6 oz baby spinach
1/4 c fresh mint, chopped

Ingredients I wish I had when I made this
1 c broccoli florets
1 c pea pods

(1) Combine juice of 3 mandarins, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, mandarin zest, 2 scallions, 1/2 of the jalapeno (or to taste). Let scallops marinate in mixture for 3-5 minutes. You will notice that I broke my scallops up into pieces. Well, I found my scallops in questionable condition at the back of the freezer. Breaking them up allowed for more searing. If my scallops were nice and new, I may not have cut them.
(2) Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. If you're keeping your scallops whole, sear each side for about 3 minutes. The scallop is done when it you see golden brown caramelization (spell check doesn't think that is a word, but I think it should be) of the marinade on each side of the scallop. If you have smaller pieces, sear each side for about 2 minutes. Remove scallops and set aside.

3) Cook soba noodles according to package directions.
4) Add marinade to the pan the scallops were in and turn the heat to low. The marinade will reduce to a syrupy sauce. My attempt to photograph this sauce resulted in a picture that resembled tar. Want to see? Oh, no. Blogger won't let me upload any more photos. Oh well. Probably for the best.
5) Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the last tablespoon of oil on medium heat and cook the spinach until just wilted. If you have broccoli or peapods or whatever other vegetable, steam them/grill them/cook them to your liking. No need to add too much seasoning because the sauce is quite flavorful.
6) When the sauce is the consistency of maple syrup (the fake kind), its done.
7) Pour the sauce over the noodles and mix in the spinach/vegetables, jalapeno, green onion and mandarin wedges. Add the sauce slowly and taste it as you go along. The sauce is super sweet and rich, so too much would be overwhelming. Add the scallops (or eat them along side the noodles). Top with fresh mint. Bon apetit!


  1. You have officially inspired me to make soba noodles this week! How did the mint affect the flavor? I actually have some in my fridge right now (which is a rarity), so I'd like to use it for something other than garnishing cocktails.


    Steph :)

  2. My soba always ends up gummy and weird. Please show me the way.

    Also, here is a trick for adding more photos to blogger: Upload your photos on Flickr (yes, you have to have an account, and if you want unlimited uploads you have to pay $25/year, otherwise it cuts you off after a certain amount per month), then grab the HTML for the photo you want to add (in the "Share this" drop down for the photo), and add the code into the post where you want it to go. Make sure you're in "Edit HTML." Hope that makes sense, that's how I do it. There is probably an easier way, but I haven't figured it out yet. Make sure the Flickr photo you want to post isn't set to private, otherwise I don't think it'll show up on the blog.

  3. Steph - Have fun with the soba noodles! The mint was delicious. It really brightened up the dish and made it taste very fresh. I find that mint is a good accompaniment to citrus, seafood, certain tomatoey things, balances out salty foods well (think lamb and mint jelly) and it can tone down overly spicy things.

    Jax - Hmmm. This is what I did: I boiled the water. I added the noodles. I turned the water down to a simmer. I cooked them about 3.5 minutes (I think? I just kept tasting them). I took them off the heat about 30 seconds before I thought they would be completely done (travel time between stove and strainer and cold water). I drained them. I poured cold water all over them until they were cold. Is that different than how you make them?

  4. Maybe it's the brand I'm getting. Or maybe I'm overcooking them? I'll give it another go, someday...

  5. Hey Jax! I'm obsessed with buckwheat soba noodles. I brought them back to Ecuador the last two times that I visited. It is really easy to overcook them. They can also get really dry. I like to make them simple with lots of sesame oil, garlic, spinach, and scallions. Where are you getting your noodles from and what brand are they? Are they buckwheat?

  6. Jenna - They're buckwheat. I get them at the Super H-Mart, where there are about 58 different brands and types of soba with descriptions in Japanese. I think next time I'm there I may have to grab a random Asian, point to the soba and demand they choose the right one for me. And then invite myself over for lunch.

  7. i thought krissi coined the 'macgyver meal' term...

  8. Hi Fif. I'm pretty sure it was HK that made up the term. Krissy doesn't cook anything unless it comes in a box.