Scallops with Buttermilk, Soy and Poppy Seeds

This is another one of Chang’s three-in-one recipes, but two of the recipes are just dressings and the other is arranging, so I’d say this is one of the easiest recipes in the Ko chapter. Fresh, sweet scallop is placed on top a tangy, slightly spicy buttermilk dressing with shoyu vinaigrette.

Momofuku uses fluke in this recipe, but they often substitute scallops when fluke isn’t available. Another substitute I made was the shoyu, or soy sauce. When I first read the recipe and saw shiro shoyu (white soy sauce) I thought nothing of it. I thought I could easily pick up a bottle at any Asian grocery store.

The usual stores I visited didn’t have any shiro shoyu and when I visited the speciality Japanese store, they actually told me they’d never heard of white soy sauce. They pointed me in the direction of usukuchi, which is light soy sauce.

It was months after I first began my search when I was at a specialty food store not even looking for shiro shoyu that I happened upon it. Of course, after I saw it that first time, it was like blue car syndrome, I felt like I saw it everywhere. Granted, it was really at only one other store, but still!

I ended up substituting the shiro shoyu for usukuchi, like the nice Japanese ladies suggested, and I don’t think it detracted from the dish at all. I didn’t end up buying the bottle just because it was on the pricey (and large) side of things and the recipe only needed a tiny amount.

Searching for ingredients aside—a familiar refrain—this dish was simple, easy and delicious. The tart-spiciness of the buttermilk dressing and the lightly citrus soy sauce when wonderfully with the natural sweetness of the scallops. I liked the pop and crunch of the poppy seeds as well.

4 Comments add yours

  1. Wow, that dish looks really good. It sort of looks like the sashimi dish at Jean-George’s ABC Kitchen. See here:

    -Earl Lee

  2. The peach color makes it look summery.

  3. What does the bottle of shiro shoyu look like? What brand of usukuchi did you use?

    The shiro shoyu was light and honey coloured and it came in a regular bottle that was inside a cylindrical box. As for usukuchi, I use Yamasa

    steph on July 12th, 2010 at 11:35 am
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