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Asparagus with Scallops: A Delicious Chinese Recipe

Asparagus with Scallops Chinese Recipe is a delicious and healthy dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. This recipe combines the delicate flavour of asparagus with the rich, sweet taste of scallops to create a dish that is both satisfying and nutritious.

Fresh asparagus and seared scallops sizzling in a wok with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce

To make this dish, you will need fresh asparagus and scallops, along with a variety of other ingredients such as ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine. The asparagus is lightly steamed and then stir-fried with the scallops, creating a dish that is both tender and crisp.

Seafood lovers will be delighted to know that other seafood, such as prawns, can be used instead of scallops. This recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a quick and easy meal that is both healthy and delicious.

Key Takeaways

  • Asparagus with Scallops Chinese Recipe is a healthy and delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish.
  • Other seafood, such as prawns, can be used instead of scallops to create a dish that is both tender and crisp.
  • This recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a quick and easy meal that is both healthy and delicious.

Selecting Ingredients

A hand reaches for asparagus and scallops on a kitchen counter for a Chinese recipe

When it comes to making a delicious Chinese asparagus and scallops recipe, selecting the right ingredients is crucial. Here are some tips on how to choose the best ingredients for your dish.

Choosing Fresh Asparagus

When selecting asparagus, look for firm, straight, and bright green stalks. The tips should be tightly closed and not wilted. Avoid asparagus with brown or soft spots, as this indicates that it's not fresh. Additionally, the thicker the asparagus, the more mature it is, and the more fibrous it will be. Therefore, choose medium-sized asparagus for this recipe.

If fresh asparagus is not available, you can use frozen asparagus instead. However, make sure to thaw it completely and pat it dry before cooking.

Picking the Best Scallops

When selecting scallops, choose dry-packed sea scallops over wet-packed ones. Wet-packed scallops are treated with a solution that makes them absorb water, which affects their taste and texture. Dry-packed scallops are more expensive, but they have a better flavour and texture. Look for scallops that are firm, plump, and slightly translucent. Avoid scallops that are slimy, discoloured, or have a strong odour.

If you cannot find fresh scallops, you can use frozen scallops instead. Make sure to thaw them completely before cooking. However, keep in mind that frozen scallops may not have the same texture and flavour as fresh ones.

If you want to add more seafood to your dish, you can use shrimp or prawns instead of scallops. Make sure to choose fresh or frozen seafood of good quality.

Preparation Techniques

Asparagus and scallops sizzling in a wok with Chinese spices and sauces. Ingredients neatly arranged on a wooden cutting board nearby

Prepping Asparagus

Before you start cooking, you need to prepare your asparagus. Begin by washing the asparagus spears and trimming off the tough ends. You can do this by holding the asparagus spear with both hands and bending it until it breaks naturally at the point where the tough part ends. Discard the tough ends and cut the asparagus spears into thin slices.

If you prefer your vegetables to be on the softer side, you can blanch the asparagus by boiling them in salted water for a minute or two before slicing them. This will help to soften them up and make them easier to stir-fry.

Preparing Scallops for Cooking

When it comes to preparing scallops for cooking, it's important to ensure that they are dry before you start. Use a paper towel to pat them dry and remove any excess moisture. This will help them to sear properly and prevent them from becoming rubbery.

If you're using frozen scallops, make sure they are completely thawed before cooking. You can do this by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or by running them under cold water for a few minutes.

For an added twist, you can also consider adding other types of seafood to your recipe. Shrimp, crab, or lobster can all be great additions to a scallop and asparagus stir-fry. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that everything is cooked properly.

Overall, with these preparation techniques, you'll be well on your way to creating a delicious and flavourful scallop and asparagus stir-fry that is sure to impress your guests.

Cooking Methods

Asparagus and scallops sizzling in a wok over high heat, with garlic and ginger aromas filling the air

Stir-Frying Asparagus

Stir-frying is a popular Chinese cooking technique that involves cooking food quickly over high heat in a wok or frying pan. Asparagus is a great vegetable for stir-frying as it cooks quickly and retains its crunchiness. To stir-fry asparagus, heat a small amount of peanut or vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the asparagus and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until it turns bright green and is slightly tender. Be careful not to overcook the asparagus as it will become mushy and lose its flavour.

Searing Scallops to Perfection

Searing is a cooking technique that involves cooking food over high heat until a brown crust forms on the surface. Scallops are a great seafood to sear as they cook quickly and are delicious when cooked this way. To sear scallops, heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a frying pan over high heat. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Add the scallops to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and slightly caramelised on the surface. Be sure not to overcook the scallops as they will become tough and rubbery.

Seafood such as prawns or lobster can be used in addition to scallops to create a delicious seafood stir-fry.

Flavour Enhancements

Asparagus and scallops sizzling in a wok with aromatic Chinese spices and seasonings, creating a tantalizing aroma

When making a Chinese asparagus and scallops dish, the sauce is the key to achieving a delicious and harmonious blend of flavours. Here are some tips on how to create a flavourful sauce for your dish.

Creating the Sauce

To create a flavourful sauce, you can use a combination of sauces such as oyster sauce, XO sauce, and soy sauce. You can also add garlic and ginger to the sauce to give it a more complex flavour.

If you want to add a seafood element to your dish, you can use seafood stock to create the sauce. This will add depth and complexity to the flavour of the sauce. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or vegetable stock if you prefer.

To thicken the sauce, you can add cornstarch or potato starch. This will give the sauce a silky texture and help it cling to the asparagus and scallops.

Seasoning and Spices

To enhance the flavour of the dish, you can season the asparagus and scallops with salt and pepper. You can also add sesame oil to the dish to give it a nutty flavour.

To add some heat to the dish, you can add chilli flakes or Sichuan peppercorns. This will give the dish a spicy kick and balance out the sweetness of the sauce.

Overall, the key to creating a delicious Chinese asparagus and scallops dish is to balance the flavours of the sauce and the seasoning. By using a combination of sauces, spices, and seasonings, you can create a dish that is both flavourful and satisfying.

Nutritional Information

A plate of asparagus and scallops stir-fried in a savory Chinese sauce, with a side of steamed rice and a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Asparagus and scallops make a delicious combination that is also packed with nutrients. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional information for this Chinese recipe:

  • Calories: Asparagus and scallops are both low in calories, making this dish a great option for those watching their calorie intake. A 3.5 oz serving of scallops contains only 100 calories, while a cup of asparagus contains just 27 calories.

  • Total Fat: Scallops are low in fat, with only 1.4 grams of total fat per 3.5 oz serving. Asparagus is also low in fat, with less than 1 gram of total fat per cup.

  • Saturated Fat: Scallops are low in saturated fat, with only 0.2 grams per 3.5 oz serving. Asparagus contains no saturated fat.

  • Unsaturated Fat: Scallops are a good source of unsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that can help improve cholesterol levels. Asparagus also contains small amounts of unsaturated fats.

  • Cholesterol: Scallops are a good source of cholesterol, with 41 mg per 3.5 oz serving. Asparagus contains no cholesterol.

  • Sodium: Scallops are low in sodium, with only 161 mg per 3.5 oz serving. Asparagus is also low in sodium, with only 2 mg per cup.

  • Carbohydrates: Asparagus is a good source of carbohydrates, with 5 grams per cup. Scallops contain only 2 grams of carbohydrates per 3.5 oz serving.

  • Fiber: Asparagus is a good source of fiber, with 2.8 grams per cup. Scallops contain no fiber.

  • Sugar: Asparagus contains only 2.2 grams of sugar per cup. Scallops contain no sugar.

  • Protein: Scallops are a great source of protein, with 20 grams per 3.5 oz serving. Asparagus contains 3 grams of protein per cup.

Seafood lovers can also experiment with other types of seafood in this recipe, such as shrimp or prawns. These types of seafood are also low in fat and calories and can add a delicious flavour to the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Asparagus and scallops sizzling in a wok, surrounded by Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

What's the best way to prepare asparagus for a stir-fry?

To prepare asparagus for a stir-fry, you should first trim the tough ends off the spears. Then, cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until they are bright green and slightly tender. Drain and rinse the asparagus under cold water to stop the cooking process.

How do you ensure scallops are cooked perfectly in a stir-fry?

To ensure that scallops are cooked perfectly in a stir-fry, you should first pat them dry with a paper towel. Heat up a pan with oil until it's hot, then add the scallops. Cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and slightly caramelized on the outside. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Can you recommend a good oyster sauce for a scallop and asparagus dish?

Yes, Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce is a good brand to use for a scallop and asparagus dish. It has a rich umami flavour that complements the sweetness of the scallops and the freshness of the asparagus.

What are some tips for achieving authentic Cantonese flavours in a scallop recipe?

To achieve authentic Cantonese flavours in a scallop recipe, you should use seasonings such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and Shaoxing wine. These ingredients are commonly used in Cantonese cuisine and will give your dish a delicious savoury flavour. Additionally, use fresh ingredients and avoid overcooking the scallops to maintain their delicate texture.

Is it necessary to marinate scallops before sautéeing them?

It is not necessary to marinate scallops before sautéeing them, but you can if you want to add extra flavour. A simple marinade of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic can enhance the natural sweetness of the scallops. However, be careful not to marinate them for too long, as the acid in the marinade can start to cook the scallops and make them tough.

What's the secret to a delicious sea scallop stir-fry?

The secret to a delicious sea scallop stir-fry is to use fresh ingredients and cook them quickly over high heat. Pat the scallops dry before cooking to ensure they get a nice sear. Season the stir-fry with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a touch of sugar to balance the flavours. You can also add other vegetables such as bell peppers or mushrooms to add more texture and flavour to the dish. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, prawns or squid would be a great addition.