COMPLIMENTARY RECIPE - Chargrilled Scallops with butter and spring onion oil
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy Amphawa Floating Market – it’s so entertaining. There’s plenty of cooking action and watching the (mostly) women cook fresh seafood, with their pots, steamers, portable barbecues and other gear balanced so precariously inside tiny boats, is magical. Set along a canal lined with charming old wooden shops, it’s a hot weekend destination for Bangkok-ites so you need to be prepared for major crowds. Everyone sits on the steps that lead down to the canal to watch the action and eat and what I love about this is, not only do you get to feel like a local, but you’ve got a ringside seat to all the cooking activity too. These scallops are a favourite of mine, especially with a cold beer. They’re grilled in the half-shell, with just a little bit of butter, some peanuts and spring onion oil. They’re so simple to make but, like all simple things, they rely on the freshest produce you can get your hands on in order to really shine.
SERVES 4–6 As part o f a shared meal
12 scallops on the half-shell, roes removed
2 tablespoons quality unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Spring onion oil
3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
freshly ground black pepper
Spring onion oil
250ml vegetable oil
6 spring onions, thinly sliced, green part only
To make the Spring Onion Oil, put the oil and spring onion in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the oil just starts to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
Transfer the oil to a clean container. Do not discard the spring onion: it should be kept in the oil to garnish dishes. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
Heat a barbecue chargrill or chargrill pan to a medium heat.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper, then top each piece with ½ teaspoon of the butter.
Sit the scallops in their shells on top of the hot grill and drizzle over the spring onion oil. Leave to cook for 1 minute, then sprinkle over the crushed peanuts and chargrill for a further 2 minutes, or until the scallops are just cooked through.
Transfer the scallops to a platter and serve immediately.