Once in a while I get into a phase where I crave certain flavor profiles and that dominates what I cook for at least a week. Well, a few weeks back I was craving ingredients like soy, miso, scallion and snap peas, so pretty much everything I made that week had an Asian flare to it, like the Asian Meatloaf that I recently posted. One particular evening I was not only craving those flavors, but I also wanted seafood, and done in a way that was comforting… so I decided to make an Asian Noodle Soup and incorporate shrimp, scallops and fresh vegetables. It came out absolutely delicious, quite possibly one of my best dishes in a while!
Another great thing about this recipe is that from prep to plating you should be done in about an hour.
Serves 4 as an entrée, 8 as an appetizer.
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Heart of Lemongrass, sliced in half length wise
2tbsp Fresh Grated Ginger
1tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/4tsp Salt
4c Vegetable Stock
3tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1c Scallion, chopped
1lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
8oz Rice Vermicelli
1c Snap Peas, julienne
1c Red Cabbage, shredded
8-12 Large Sea Scallops
1tbsp Olive Oil
1tsp Ground Black Pepper
In a large sauce pot (I used an 8qt) heat 1tbsp of olive oil on medium, then add the garlic, sliced lemongrass heart, grated ginger and sprinkle with 1/4tsp of salt, sauté for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, water, soy sauce and 1tsp of salt. Increase the heat to high and boil uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring periodically. Strain the broth into another pot to remove any solids, do not put the strained broth on heat. Add the uncooked vermicelli, shrimp and scallion and cover the pot, allowing the hot broth to cook the raw ingredients. Leave covered at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving, stirring once about halfway through.
Heat your oven to 400F.
While the broth is finishing it’s time to cook your scallops. Rinse them off in cold water, then pat dry with a towel. Sprinkle both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan on high. Once hot add the scallops and sear until browned, then flip and repeat, 2-3 minutes per side. Put the scallops in the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
To serve, create a nest of vermicelli in the bowl and ladle with broth and shrimp. Top with the seared scallops then liberally garnish with julienne snap peas and shredded cabbage.
Now let’s talk pairings. If you’re having wine then it’ll have to be white… red wine simply isn’t going to work. Look for whites with pronounced acidity and subtle fruit and florals, which will help cut through the soy but also accent the natural sweetness of the seafood and vegetables, but that also have some depth and richness. Think Bordeaux Blanc, dry Alsatian Riesling or Gewurztraminer, dry Chenin Blanc, or even a denser Sauvignon Blanc from California, preferably Napa. Or if you’d like to go in a different direction I would recommend a floral Sake from a southern Japanese prefecture, or even a lighter bodied beer with subdued hops and notes of florals or fruit. Here are a few things that I would recommend.
Château Sainte Marie Entre-Deux-Mers Vieilles Vignes 2013, Bordeaux, France – Sainte Marie was established by Gilles Dupuch in 1956, but it was always a hobby for the family as Gilles’ primary vocation was his insurance brokerage. However, in 1997 Gilles’ son Stephane took over and was able to focus all of his time, energy and passion on making the family wines, transforming the vineyards and drastically improving the final product. Their blanc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle aged on lees in stainless steel. In the opening you’ll find pronounced citrus notes and subtle salinity, as well as sharp acidity. The Semillon becomes evident mid palate with rich, dense, slightly yeasty notes, leading to a moderately soft finish with subdued minerality and delicate nuances of white peach and crushed flowers. With over 8,300 cases made on an average vintage the wine should be readily available in most major markets. PP Score: 88 (Retail $13-17) *Certified Organic
Cultivar Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Napa, California – Cultivar is a relatively new petit négociant out of Napa, sourcing from top vineyard sites throughout the valley. Their Sauvignon Blanc is a very authentic representation of how the varietal should drink from this region. In the glass you’ll find a medium-to-full bodied wine of golden hue. The bouquet is redolent with aromas of lime zest, Meyer lemon, grapefruit pith, slate and crushed white flower. The palate reflects the nose, with undercurrents of balancing acidity, surprising depth and grip, and a mildly creamy mouth feel. One of the better Sauvignon Blancs I’ve had from California in some time, regardless of region or price point. PP Score: 92 (Retail $18-21)
Fukucho “Moon on Water” Junmai Ginjo Sake N/V, Hiroshima, Japan – Fukucho by the brewery Imada Shuzo, which was founded in 1868. On the palate the Sake is slightly sweet, with distinct notes of cantaloupe, lime and most especially fennel. It has a crisp clean mid-palate and lingering finish where the fennel notes continue to shine. Easily one of my favorite southern prefecture Sakes. Available in both 300ml and 720ml. PP Score: 93 (Retail 300ml $18-22, Retail 720ml $37-45)
Magic Hat Brewing Company “Elder Betty”, Vermont – Elder Betty is a Weiss-style ale made with elderberry, by Vermont’s iconic brewery Magic Hat. In the glass you’ll find a light-to-medium bodied brew of straw color with hints of orange, minimal head and no lacing. On the nose are aromas of elderberry, juniper and sourdough. On the palate the beer is surprisingly dry and crisp with pronounced effervescence and only subtle hints of fruity sweetness. Elderberry is obviously the primary flavor profile, but it is nicely balanced with malts, subtle hops and a slightly tart acidity, leading to a short finish. This drinks dangerously easy, luckily it’s only 5.5% ABV. PP Score: 3.82 (Retail $9-10 per six pack)
Well, there you have it, my newest recipe and recommended pairings. I must point out that this is a momentous post as it’s my first with a beer pairing included! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the read, and will try the recipe and pairings. As always new content is coming soon, in the meantime crack open a dangerously addictive bottle of Elder Betty, sit back and relax… and keep the rest of the six pack within reach so you don’t have to keep getting up for another! Life is short, enjoy it.