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Steamed Scallops with Garlic and Vermicelli

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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: scallops, seafood
Servings: 3
Calories: 95kcal
Author: Jeremy Pang


  • 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 teaspoons chili oil
  • 1 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 fresh Thai chile finely chopped


  • 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.


Used with permission from Essential Chinese Cooking: Authentic Chinese Recipes, Broken Down into Easy Techniques by Jeremy Pang, Quadrille Publishing, 2016. Photography by Martin Poole.