Hokkaido scallops are plump, juicy & sweet.
I bought once from Isetan Orchard during a Japanese Fair and a 1kg box cost S$90 and they were really sweet. I bought also from QB Food frozen USA scallops at S$17 for 500g but these were not so great. Recently I bought 1 box 900g from Sheng Shiong on promotion at S$24.80, and these were quite ok.
I previously had difficulty searing scallop because the technique was wrong. So again after I check out Foodwishes.com Chef John’s seared scallop recipe, I can now reproduce quite easily scallops with a nice sear (as in above picture).
As mentioned in the video, the trick is simply (1)a superhot pan & (2)bone dry scallops. Scallops, like fish, retain a lot of moisture and if they are not totally dry, the temperature of the pan will drop sharply and you will be boiling/poaching the scallop rather than searing it, and the burnt layer will come off & stick to the pan.
With the right technique then it is really simple. I dry the scallops on a rack in the fridge so that both top & bottom are dry & the water drip on to a bowl or tray below the rack. I bring out the scallops from the fridge for at least 1/2 hour to get it to room temperature. I lightly season the scallop with sea salt & coarse black pepper and place them in a superhot pan with olive oil & sear for 3minutes, watching the side cook to opaque white colour 1/3 to 1/2 way up & then flip the scallops. I cook for another 2-3minutes and then serve. It is that simple.
I have tried also Chef John’s orange supreme sauce, however I don’t really find much there as I don’t feel the sauce add anything to the scallop & maybe reduce the seared flavour & texture. I would rather have my seared scallops with rockets and cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt.