Scallop Ramen Stir-fry: When hunger calls during quarantine.
By: Feli Musing
During these trying times, my fridge has seen better days. With the state-wide quarantine having us stay indoors, my household has gotten creative with the ingredients we have on-hand. The fear of the virus that shall remain nameless for the purposes of avoiding the infliction of additional trauma to those who are either suffering, know suffering individuals, essential workers, scared citizens and the like, has fostered our creativity and togetherness (while practicing social distancing). In my cupboard were some packs of instant ramen, and in my stomach were hunger pangs. Thus, I had to get creative while trying to limit my trips to the overcrowded supermarkets.
Yield: About 1 serving
- 5 Scallops
- 1 packet of instant ramen (Seasoning packet not needed)
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 handful of baby kale
- ½ teaspoon of fish seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch or sprinkle of ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon scotch bonnet powder (or ½ scotch bonnet pepper or ½ wiri wiri pepper)
- ½ tablespoon quick green seasoning (3 garlic cloves, 3 scallions, handful parsley, 3 sprigs thyme, water and vinegar for blending)
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon stir-fry sauce
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (any oil will do)
- ¼ teaspoon black sesame seeds or regular sesame seeds
- Optional Ingredients:
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- ¼ shallot thinly sliced
- 2 brown button mushrooms thinly sliced
- Thoroughly wash your scallops with cold water. This is maybe the one animal protein I don’t always have to clean with vinegar or lime juice. It just works.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Cut scallops into ¼ inch pieces so that you feel as though you’re eating a feast.
- Season scallops with quick green seasoning, fish seasoning, garlic powder, and scotch bonnet powder. Allow the scallops to marinate for 3 minutes or so. It doesn’t take long for these beauties to absorb flavor.
- Heat oil in a small frying pan or wok on medium heat.
- This step is optional. Carefully place thinly sliced garlic, thinly sliced
shallot, and thinly sliced mushrooms until crispy and brown (I like mine super dark). Maybe about a minute or so. You don’t want them to burn!
- This step is optional. Remove crispy mushrooms, shallots, and garlic from the pan and drain on a sheet of paper towel. These will be used as an optional garnish.
- Sear scallops in the same frying pan with residual oil on medium heat for about 1 ½ minutes on each side. If you prefer them brown, turn up the heat to achieve that color.
- Remove the scallops from the pan and cook ramen in water for about a minute and 20 seconds. To avoid mushiness, you want the noodles to be a bit firmer than al dente.
- While the noodles cook, deglaze the pan with rice vinegar and add stir-fry sauce.
- Add your greens to the pan and allow to wilt while noodles cook.
- At this point, add a toops (little) more garlic powder if you really want that garlicy flavor.
- Toss noodles in the pan to coat with sauce.
- Return scallops back to the pan and toss.
- Add sesame seeds to the stir-fry, then remove stir-fry and add to a bowl.
- This step is optional. Garnish your noodles with fried garlic, mushrooms, and shallots.
- Drizzle with some sriracha, and enjoy!
This dish was created out of necessity but made with love. Men and women are on the frontlines caring for the ill, delivering packages, preparing food, re-stocking markets, manning public transportation, and showing up every day while risking their own lives during this pandemic. Stay indoors when you can. Wash your hands and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as often as possible. There is still a lot to be grateful for. So, if you don’t have scallops, use any protein you’d like. If instant ramen noodles and frozen vegetables are all you have, use weh yuh ‘ave (use what you have). As my mother would say, “Tun yuh hand and mek fashion.” I mean, there is no shame in enjoying a comforting dish with humble ingredients. Try to include vegetables if you can. The fiber and nutrients will have your back.
A very special thank you to the essential workers today, and always. Stay safe, and God bless unnu (all of you)!