Synchronicity. The three components of this dish, the kimchi fritter, the scallops, and the sesame mayo, complemented each other perfectly. The sweetness of the scallops balanced the salty, sour, and slightly funky kimchi. The sesame mayo worked a little like a bridge between them.
One of the reasons this dish works so well is that it is intended as an appetiser. It could potentially scale, but it would lose that, let’s call it culinary intensity, that desire for more that one gets from an amazing appetiser or tapas dish. The creaminess of the sesame mayo, the sweetness of the scallops, and the slightly hot and sour taste of the kimchi fritters complemented each other beautifully. If you really did want to grow it into a lunch or main course, it would work well served with this tomato wakame salad.
The kimchi fritters
The distinctive spicy, salty, tangy, and umami-packed flavour of kimchi is perfectly encapsulated in these fritters—such a perfect complement for the sweetness of the scallops. Not only does kimchi contribute to the deliciousness of this dish, but it also brings health benefits…
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in kimchi can provide important health benefits. Kimchi contains Choline, a natural compound vital for maintaining your cells, muscles, nervous system, and mood. Choline is also important for maintaining your memory.WebMD
Kimchi is also rich in probiotics. These can help improve both gastrointestinal and heart health. Healthline elaborates on nine benefits of kimchi.
The sesame mayo
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 Japanese Kewpie mayo. You could even 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.
Kimchi fritters with scallops and 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
- 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)