Synchronicity. The three components of this dish, scallops, kimchi, and sesame mayo, complemented each other so well, and the combination so delicious, my guests wanted seconds. I had to remind them it was just the appetizer.
The creaminess of the sesame mayo, the sweet and umami taste of the scallops, and the slightly hot and sour taste of the kimchi fritters, complemented each other beautifully, helped in part by the fact it is intended to be an appetiser so is quite a small serving size. There is no reason this could not be expanded to a main course, but it would need something else to keep the balance. A salad would work perfectly.
The mayo offers the most scope for experimentation. I didn’t make it from scratch in this case for time reasons, but used a good quality Italian mayonnaise and added the sesame components. If you can get the Japanese Kewpie brand, you could use the roasted sesame variety. Its so good. Alternatively, you could make your own Kewpie style mayonnaise. One of my most valued reference sites, seriouseats.com, tells you how.
Scallops on a kimchi fritter with sesame mayo
- 1 cup kimchi drained and diced retain the juice
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup grated cheese gruyere, gouda, Emmental, or cheddar
- 20 g butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup mayonaise buy a really good one, or make your own
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp kimchi juice
- 20 scallops or 10 if they are really big ones
- Canola or grapeseed oil (or another oil with a high smoke point.
- Finely dice the kimchi.
- Melt the butter.
- Place in a large bowl the flour, milk, egg, baking powder, melted butter and whisk until smooth.
- Add the kimchi.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
- Add spoonfuls of batter to the pan. About 1 Tbsp per fritter. They should end up just a little wider than a large scallop, or 2 smaller scallops.
- Fry pancakes 2 minutes each side, or until golden, then drain on paper towels.
- Whip together the ingredients. It should be a little more runny than a typical store bought mayo. Add more kimchi juice if necessary.
- Bring a skillet to a high heat and add the canola or grapeseed oil.
- Sear the scallops until golden, about 2 minutes, then turn over and lightly sear the other side, about 30 seconds.
- Place a fritter on a plate.
- Top with a scallop or two, golden side up, and add a dollop of sesame mayo. (dollop: a technical term for approximately 1/2 tablespoon)