I love to combine exotic foods with everyday staples, like dayboat scallops from Maine paired with spicy, peanut butter vinaigrette-flavored soba noodles.
I bought these Maine scallops from Togue Brawn of Downeast Dayboat. Maine scallops are harvested and landed within a three-hour time period. The rich, cold waters of Maine and its scallop fisheries regulations—meaning no chemicals or freshwater is used during processing—make these scallops taste unbelievably fresh and ocean forward.
So not only are you eating the best scallops ever, you support American fishermen and help sustain a viable, important economy and local communities.
And here’s the crazy thing about this recipe. Peanut butter vinaigrette provides an excellent dressing for noodles without overwhelming so the bright notes of the sweet scallops shine through. How so? The peanut butter is cut with a little acid and heat. And if soba noodles aren’t your thing, toss a salad or make some cole slaw. This dressing works.
Trust. When you spend extra on these delicate bivalves, you’ll want to use everyday pantry items to balance out the cost.
Here’s the best part. Make the vinaigrette and edamame ahead to save time. Then, before you’re ready to cook, remove the peanut butter vinaigrette from the refrigerator, prepare the noodles, and chop the tomatoes. Then toss the noodles and vegetables with the vinaigrette. Noodles are good served either warm or cold, so don’t worry about timing. And since scallops cook quickly, depending on size, less for smaller and more for larger, you’ll be eating a delicious, flavorful dinner in a flash.
Watch Pan Seared Scallops & Soba Noodles on YouTube. (And don’t miss a video, subscribe!)
Pan Seared Scallops & Soba Noodles
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons ponzu (citrus flavored soy sauce)
1 tablespoon agave
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Dash kosher salt
Dash ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black sesame seed
1 teaspoon white sesame seed
A handful of grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarters if large
½ cup cooked Edamame
½ pound scallops
Green onion, greens only
- Add the peanut butter, rice vinegar, ponzu, agave, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
- Place a damp towel under the bowl to secure the bowl while you whisk and drizzle the olive oil, a little at a time, into the peanut butter mixture until the dressing comes together.
- Place the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat and toast for about six minutes or until the white seeds turn golden brown. Shake the pan a few times, careful not to burn the seeds Remove from heat.
- Cut the tomatoes.
- Prepare the edamame according to the package. Or is using fresh, steam and then shell. Discard the shell.
- While the edamame cooks, bring a medium saucepan of water to boil over high heat and prepare the soba noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse the noodles three times with cold water.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Remove the foot from the side of the scallop and discard.
- Pat scallops dry with a paper towel.
- Season both top and bottom with salt and pepper.
- Add a tablespoon of oil and butter (I can’t remember if I used both) to the skillet. Swirl to coat the surface of the pan. The oil should shimmer.
- Arrange the scallops flat side down in the skillet. Leave equal amounts of space between the scallops. Resist the urge to move them. Sear for one to two minutes. Turn once to the other seasoned flat side of the scallop and continue cooking. Remove the scallops from the pan and keep warm.
- Place the soba noodles in a large bowl, add the edamame, tomatoes and then the dressing. Toss to mix. Use your clean hands to mix together is needed.
- Arrange the noodles on a platter. Place the scallops on top. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.
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