When I saw this, my thoughts immediately went to the holidays. The scallops are white, like Christmas snow. The garnish of chili paste and cilantro leaves gives us that kiss of red and green. And the presentation, three to a plate, is so symbolic of the season. It was love at first sight. What an elegant start to a Christmas Eve supper of seven fishes, don’t you think?
Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish that reflects the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peruvian cookery. The scallops have been sliced in half, and seared on one side, so not exactly “raw”. It is also not traditional since Tiradito is “sauced”. However; this recipe does use a chili paste, so close enough. Just between us, I cannot handle raw fish. I actually sear the scallops on both sides for a little more cooking time than the recipe calls for. But that’s just me.
Sea Scallop Tiradito
12 large sea scallops, diver scallops preferred
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Chili paste as needed, imported from South America preferred
24 small cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Cut each scallop in half horizontally. Rinse, pat dry and set aside.
Set a large skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable oil and heat until smoking. Add the scallop to the skillet and sear for about 1 minute. Carefully turn scallops over and continue to sear for another minute.
Arrange 3 scallop slices on each of four plates, overlapping them slightly. Spoon chili paste into a sandwich bag for piping or disposable pastry bag fitted with a small decorative tip. (Stars would be nice for the holidays). Garnish each slice with a dot of the chili paste and a cilantro leaf.
Sprinkle with the lemon juice and sea salt and serve immediately.