Stir-fried Scallops With Sun-dried Tomatoes And Baby Bok Choy

Fresh Scallops

Here is a delicious recipe that we had at Rancho La Puerta and is in their great cookbook, which I highly recommend, From Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-famous Spa, by Deborah Szekely and Deborah Schneider with Chef Jesús González of La Cocina Que Canta.

Stir-fried Scallops with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Baby Bok Choy

Deborah remembers… We have the most marvelous seafood in Baja California, and most of it comes to us via the fishing ports of Ensenada on the Pacific side or San Felipe on the Gulf side. If you live on the East Coast and love shellfish, I know you already have a favorite source for scallops. They’re precious wherever you find them, and you might hesitate to prepare them this way, preferring instead to pan-fry them and present them three or four on a plate like steep-sided round islands. But give stir-frying a try. It’s healthier, and the scallops pair with the bok choy in a way that is very special.

The essential part of this recipe is the stir-fry technique. Once you know the basic steps, the variations are almost infinite. No wok is required; you can use a large sauté pan. Make sure everything is ready to cook before you turn on the flame, because the cooking goes quickly and you do not want to overcook the scallops or they will be dry and chewy.

Choy are members of a large Asian family of greens that Salvador grows in heroic quantities for use at the ranch. At any size, choy are tender and quick-cooking and have a mild flavor. Though the recipe calls for baby bok choy, which are typically 4 to 6 inches long and cook in a flash, you may substitute sliced mature choy. Visit an Asian supermarket and check out the produce section for interesting greens and herbs to experiment with. Anything that looks like choy probably is, and it may be substituted for the greens mentioned here.

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, peeled, halved, and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
12 large scallops, quartered
4 pounds baby bok choy, cut into 1/2-inch slices, rinsed, and dried
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (optional)

1. In a 12-inch sauté pan or large wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the scallops and cook for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook several minutes more, until the bok choy is wilted.

Note: If you do not have a large sauté pan, use 2 smaller pans rather than crowding one pan.

1. Substitute 18 large shrimp, 12 ounces tempeh, for the scallops

2.Add a few thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms with the onions

3. Add 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger with the onions

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