Chang mentions that finding bay scallops in the shell “can be tough even for a restaurant with a reliable fishmonger on speed dial.” He also mentions that you can substitute scallops in the shell for already-shucked bay scallops, so I headed over to Whole Foods to see what they could do for me.
Luckily, my good friend Fish Boy was there to answer all my questions.
Me: Can I eat those scallops raw?
Fish Boy: These? Ha ha ha, no, you’ll DIE!
Me: What?! Really?
Fish Boy: You have to eat scallops within an hour of shucking, or you’ll DIE!
Me: Oh. So where can I find some in the shell?
Fish Boy: Granville Island or T&T, but I don’t know about T&T. I’ve heard weird things go down at T&T.
Me. Oh. Thanks.
I learned two things from my short conversation with Fish Boy: 1. he’s obsessed with things DYING and 2. he confirmed my fears about T&T seafood.
With Whole Foods and T&T out of the question, Mike came up with the brilliant idea to get scallops from Fujiya, a Japanese grocery store. We confirmed with the Japanese fishmonger that we could eat the scallops raw and we were good to go.
The scallops are prepared simply: thinly and neatly sliced, topped with traditional dashi, chive oil, pineapple brunoise and sea salt.
The chive oil was made by pureeing chives in oil and then straining, and the pineapple brunoise was simply a tiny dice.
The dish was subtle: sparkling, clean, and fresh. It was delicious, but I was expecting more. As a appetite-whetter, it did the job, but something was missing.
Our friend Bruce was over at the time, and he, Mike, and I sat around trying to figure it out.
Me: So I was disappointed. It was missing something.
Mike: It was a little lacking in flavour.
Me: Yeah, it needed something.
Bruce: Like soy sauce and wasabi?
Me: It needed salt. Oh shit. There was supposed to be sea salt. Oops.
I think the salt could’ve made all the difference.