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Sea Scallops with Chinese Black Beans & Garlic

Provided by Mel & Sheryl London

The Chinese serve the entire scallop along with the flavorful roe. In the United States we eat only the adductor muscle, which is known as the sea or bay scallop.

Sea Scallops with Chinese Black Beans & Garlic


  • 12 large sea scallops (Alternative seafood : cubed halibut or grouper)
  • 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing (rice) wine
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese salted black beans
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (1 clove)
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (e.g. canola)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon oriental sesame oil
  • 1 scallion, green part only, cut into very fine julienne
  • 12 cilantro leaves
  • ½ hot red chile, seeded & cut into ¼ inch diamond shapes


Use four flat, heatproof ramekins or 4 large scallop shell for cooking and serving. Mix the scallops with the wine and place 3 in each dish or shell. Soak the black beans in cold water to cover for 15 minutes. Then rinse, dry on paper towels and mince finely. Combine the beans, garlic, light and dark soy, salt, pepper, sugar, vegetable oil and cornstarch. Distribute some of this mixture equally on the surface of the scallops and trickle sesame oil over each.

In a steamer, bring a few inches of water to a vigorous boil. Place the scallops on the steamer rack, cover tightly and steam for 5 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with shreds of scallion and garnish with one cilantro leaf and a hot chile diamond before serving.

Serves 4


MEL & SHERYL LONDON are the authors of eleven cookbooks, including “A Seafood Celebration” and “The Fish Lovers” Cookbook.” They are winners of the James Beard Award and the Tastemaker Award and were finalists for the IACP Cookbook Award for “The Gourmet Garage Cookbook.” They have been loyal and loving customers of The Lobster Place since the company first opened its doors in Chelsea Market.