Steamed Scallops with Garlic and Vermicelli

It is a simple but much-loved, if not slightly luxurious, appetizer to any Chinese meal.
December 14, 2016


Mince the garlic. Slice the scallion into small rings and place in a small bowl for garnishing later.

Put the vermicelli noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and let soak for 10 minutes until soft. Drain, then cut with scissors into small pieces.

Arrange the scallop shells on a large plate. Divide the noodles between the scallop shells, then top each with a scallop. Sprinkle over the garlic.

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl or small ramekin until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Set the wok up with a steamer stand and fill with boiling water to a third of the way up the sides. Place the scallop plate in the wok, cover with a lid, and steam for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops (see Tip).

Remove the scallop plate from the wok. Drizzle the sauce over the scallops and sprinkle over the scallion rings to finish.

Tip: To check whether the scallops are cooked, press a finger gently into the scallop meat; if it gives some resistance, the scallop will be cooked through properly.

About this recipe

"I love the way scallops’ flavors speak for themselves. Their natural sweetness can be accentuated by stronger flavors (the chili sauce below, for example) but you don’t want to add too much for fear of drowning them. This recipe is a bit like a game of Jenga, stacking as much onto one scallop shell as possible. It is a simple but much-loved, if not slightly luxurious, appetizer to any Chinese meal." -- Jeremy Pang, Essential Chinese Cooking.

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  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 x 3 1/2 oz (100 g) nest of dried mung bean vermicelli noodles
  • 6 fresh whole king scallops, roes attached, cleaned
  • 6 scallop shells (ask your fish supplier for these)
  • A thumb-size piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • A handful of cilantro leaves, minced
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 tsp chilli oil
  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
The Sauce
  • 1 fresh Thai chile, finely chopped
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