Spicy Scallop Tartare In Cucumber Cups Recipe

Aug 3, 2012 2:01 pm

Asian-style scallops in an edible mini-bowl

scallop tartare recipe
Photo: Sam Horine
Scallop tartare cucumber bowls. Precious, right? Wait til you taste them.

I've been putting off publishing my scallop tartare recipe for at least five years. It's so delicious and user-friendly that I've been hoarding it, mine all mine, but let that be a testiment to how much I love Food Republic. Run, little signature proprietary recipe, be free! Go on now, git! Awh, it went. So much for recipe loyalty.

You will need a melon baller. This is non-negotiable. Scooping the flesh out of cucumber hunks may sound tedious and boring, but when you realize how easily and precisely this tool carves out the perfect little bowl, you may quit your job and go into full-time cucumber bowl production. Good thing I don't have to choose, right?

Ensure that your scallops are dry, meaning no water has been added to them previously for preservation purposes. If you touch one with your fingertip, it should stick a little. If it's slippery or slimy in the least, it's not a dry scallop. Only dry scallops are fit for raw consumption (or cooked, for that matter). Using the best-quality sesame oil and Japanese mayo will also make a big difference as well.

Make these little beauties for your next shindig involving food. If they'll be out in the open for an extended period, serve them on a plate or platter over a bed of crushed ice so they stay cool as a...wow, almost walked right into that one.   

Servings: 6


1 pound dry bay scallops, rinsed and patted dry thoroughly
2 tablespoons high-quality toasted pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 heaping tablespoon Japanese kewpie mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated on a Microplane
2 scallions, white and green parts, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
3 large English cucumbers, washed, dried and sliced into even 1 1/2-inch thick rounds
extra sliced scallions and black sesame seeds, to garnish
  1. Using a small, sharp knife, slice each scallop in half and place into a large bowl.
  2. Add sesame oil, sriracha, lemon juice and mayonnaise to the bowl and stir gently to coat thoroughly.
  3. Gently pick up the ginger shreds between your thumb and forefingers, squeeze firmly over the bowl to extract the juice, then discard the fibrous remains.
  4. Fold in scallions and sesame seeds, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  5. While they're in the refrigerator, carefully scoop the seeds and flesh from each cucumber slice, leaving the bottoms intact.
  6. Fill each cucumber bowl with about a tablespoon of tartare, garnish with extra scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately. 
Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
20 minutes plus refrigeration
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