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Slow Fish - Good, Clean and Fair Fish

Hong Kong


Scallops in Black Bean Sauce

by Annabel Jackson, Hong Kong Convivium


1. The Fish


- common name: Scallop (Asian Scallop)

- scientific names: Amusium pleuronectes, Pecten yessoensis

- characteristics:
Scallops are mollusks that have two convexly ridged shells, which are hinged at one end. The edible portion of the scallop is the white muscle that opens and closes the two shells.

Scallops are found in all of the world's oceans. By far the largest wild scallop fishery is for the Atlantic sea scallop found off northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Most of the rest of the world's production of scallops is from Japan (wild, enhanced, and aquaculture), and China (mostly cultured Atlantic bay scallops). For this recipe from Hong Kong, the asian scallop is used.

Generally speaking, two kinds of scallops are found on the market: the wild-caught, "sea scallop"; and the much smaller, farmed "bay scallop." Sea scallops are called hotate when prepared for sushi. Sea scallops are usually caught by dredging - dragging heavy nets along the sandy seafloor- which causes severe damage to the seafloor habitat. Recently, scallops harvested by divers, hand-caught on the ocean floor, have entered the marketplace. In contrast to scallops captured by a dredge across the sea floor, diver scallops are more ecologically friendly, as the harvesting method does not cause damage to undersea flora or fauna. Scallops hand-collected by divers are generally larger and of better quality than those scallops dredged off the seabed.

Farmed scallops present few threats to the environment and thus represent the best choice for buyers. You should choose scallops from responsibly managed farms only.


The scallop is enjoyed as raw sushi, and cooked in an infinite number of ways: they can be prepared in seconds when flash frying over high heat, or can be pan seared, baked, broiled, grilled, and sautéed. Scallops are a great source of protein, vitamin B-12, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium.

2. The Recipe


2 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tbsp black beans, soaked then lightly mashed

400 g/14 oz scallops

½ tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp Shao Xing (Chinese rice wine)

1 tsp sugar

3-4 finely chopped red bird's-eye chilies

1-2 tsp chicken stock

1 tbsp finely chopped spring onion



1. In a pre-heated wok or pan, heat the oil. Add garlic and stir, add ginger and stir together until fragrant, for about 1 minute. Add black beans and stir. Toss in scallops, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add soy sauce, Shao Xing, sugar and chili.


2. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes, adding stock if necessary. Finally add spring onions, stir and serve.


NOTE: Fresh scallops (removed from shells) are always preferable but frozen scallops can work in this strongly flavoured dish.

First published in the cookbook World Food China by Annabel Jackson



Scallops in Garlic Sauce

by Annabel Jackson, Hong Kong Convivium


The Recipe




300 g scallops

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large clove of garlic, finely sliced

2.5 cm knob of ginger, finely sliced

1 tbsp Shao Xing (Chinese rice wine)



1. Heat oil and cook ginger and garlic for about 4 minutes until browned. Remove with slatted spoon.

2. Add scallops to pan and lightly brown on both sides.

3. Add rice wine, cover, and cook for about 1 minute.

4. Serve immediately with asparagus or broccoli and steamed rice.


First published in the cookbook World Food China by Annabel Jackson



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