This addictive recipe comes from the Stonewall Kitchen Favorites cookbook. The authors suggest them as an appetizer but they are great as a main course with lemony potato salad, cold blanched green beans, or as shown with a light salad of pea shoots, goat cheese, and pine nuts and a glass of chilled Torrontes. This is one of those things that you will be compelled to make again and again by peer pressure.
The inspiration for these crisp, savory “chips” came from an episode of the wildly entertaining show Iron Chef America on the TV Food Network. The “secret” ingredient was scallops, and Iron Chef Morimoto thinly sliced them and served them with a dipping sauce. That idea led us to remember how much we love an old New England favorite — deep fried scallops. These scallop chips are a combination of East meets West — very thinly sliced sea scallops are coated in panko breadcrumbs and fried so that they are crisp on the outside and tender inside –and they cook in about 2 minutes! We like making them in a wok because the oil sits at the bottom and none of it splatters.
Serve the scallops as an appetizer with Cocktail Sauce, Garlic Aioli, Asian Dipping Sauce, or lemon and lime wedges.
1 pound sea scallops, tabs removed
About 2 cups safflower or vegetable oil
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
About 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, or fresh breadcrumbs
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Place the scallops in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes to make them much easier to slice.
In a wok or a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat about 20 seconds. Add the ginger to the oil and let it heat up for about 2 minutes. The oil is hot enough when you drop a tiny bit of panko into it and it sizzles immediately.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the scallops horizontally. You should get 3 to 4 slices from each large scallop. Place the panko in a bowl and lightly coat each slice of scallop with panko on all sides. Place on a plate.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Remove the ginger from the oil with a slotted spoon. Cook the scallops in batches in the hot oil. Add enough scallops to fit in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 30 seconds; gently flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. (If you’re making a double batch and need to keep the scallops warm, place them on an ovenproof plate and place in the oven while you fry the remaining batches; otherwise. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8 [very polite people or 2 lucky bastards. -Ed.]