Sunday, December 23, 2012

Donabe Butter Scallop Rice

Scallop and butter make such a beautiful combination, and it's not limited to western-style cuisine. In Japanese cooking, these two ingredients are often used together with one more (our national) ingredient...yes, soy sauce. Scallops cooked with soy-butter flavor is classic especially in Hokkaido.

So, I made a donabe rice dish by using the magical combo of these three ingredients.
I used jumbo scallops for this dish, and they infuse so much umami flavor for the rice.

For this dish, I used 3 rice-cup size double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san".

Butter Scallop Rice (バター帆立ご飯)

8 pieces (8-9 oz or 240-270 g) jumbo scallops
about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3.5 oz (100 g) lotus root

2 rice-cups (360 ml) short grain rice, rinsed and drained
300 ml water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) sake
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) light-color soy sauce ("usukuchi shoyu")
1 piece (2" x 2" or 5 cm x 5 cm) dry kelp ("dashi kombu")
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 scallion, thinly-sliced crosswise

1. Season the scallops with the salt. Refrigerate (no cover is necessary) for 30 minutes.
2. Peel the lotus root and slice into 1/8" (3 mm) thickness crosswise. Further cut into quarters. Soak in cold water for 3-5 minutes and drain. Set aside.
3. In Kamado-san, combine the rice with the water, sake, and soy sauce. Add the dry kelp on the top. Let the rice soak in the liquid for 20-30 minutes.
4. Add the lotus root and spread evenly on the surface.

5. Pat-dry the scallops with a paper towel and arrange on top of the lotus root.
6. Cover with both lids and cook over medium-high heat for 13-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 20 minutes.

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7. Uncover and remove the dry kelp. Add the butter. By using a rice paddle, coarsely break the scallops and fluff with the rice until the butter is completely melted. Garnish with thinly-sliced scallion.

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The aroma of this rice dish was so incredible and the flavor was so pure and great. Scallops were so sweet. This dish pairs super nicely with Champagne, especially highly-minerally Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay). We had Le Mesnil Champagne Grand Cru Brut with this dish.

Merry Christmas and Happy donabe life.