If you are looking for an inspiring appetizer recipe for a summer barbecue party, then this is the one you want to try out. Vietnamese scallops.
And they are amazing!
Vietnamese Scallops with Peanuts & Scallions
These Vietnamese scallops (called sò điệp nướng mỡ hành in Vietnamese) come right from the seaside village of Mũi Né (Southeast Vietnam), a stretch of land right along the coast in the South of Vietnam. This place is an eclectic mixture of backpackers hostels, Chinese pharmacies, sea view condos and also modern hotels.
Let me tell you: we didn’t feel quite at home there when we arrived after 3 weeks of Saigon and Mekong delta visits. Because all we saw was too much tourist bling bling, Russian restaurants and menus and no local vibe.
Just a place to stay for the night and leave the next day.
We were pretty sick of this seaside place after just a couple of days. But then we rented a motorbike and decided to cruise a little further to see if anything else was going on in the neighborhood.
Quan an Bo Kè 177And yes, there was. Because along the beach were these little outside restaurants with concrete tables and benches everywhere. Turns out that these only open about 6pm for dinner. We went to the same place for dinner during the rest of our stay.
Quan an Bo Kè 177 was the name of the place.There’s a variety of fresh live seafood in plastic containers with shells, eels, crabs, seafood, fresh fish, sting ray… Just point out what you like and they’ll bring it to you, perfectly cooked. The scallops were my favorite. They were so tiny and so full of flavor! Grilled on the bbq, sprinkled with lard, spring onion, fish sauce and peanuts.
Epic. Truly delicious.
And the amounts are dazzling. Guess we paid about 3 bucks for 20 scallops… Jaw dropping. A flavor memory I cherish. Here’s a picture of how they looked. I’m sorry but my food photography back in those days sucked plus it was pitch black outside every night.Because I don’t have a barbecue at home I decided to grill the scallops on the shell in a large non-stick pan. I even prepared a version of the dish under a grill, using mussels.
Try it out and let me know how it was…
- 8 small fresh scallops with shells
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter or lard
- 2 tbsp salted peanuts crushed
- 2 tbsp fresh chives or scallions, chopped
- fish sauce
- garlic powder
- Open up the scallops if that hasn’t been done yet. Keep the shell with the scallop attached to it. If you don’t like the red roe, cut it off and discard. Rinse the shells with the scallops well to remove any sand. Then place the shells in a medium non-stick pan.
- Place the pan over high heat. Divide the lard or unsalted butter over the scallops.
- Let the butter or lard melt away. Sprinkle with the chopped chives or scallions. Add a drop of fish sauce to each of the scallops.
- Then sprinkle each scallop with a tiny pinch of garlic powder and the crushed salted peanuts. Season with freshly ground black pepper too.
- Leave the scallops on the heat for another minute. Then carefully remove them and place them on a serving dish. Serve immediately.