Spicy Scallops with Chile Sauce
These are breaded fried scallops, served with slaw. Except — the breading includes chili powder, paprika, cayenne, sea salt, and ground white pepper. Except — the slaw is dressed with rice vinegar and olive oil and includes scallions and cilantro. Except — bright chili sauce accompanies the dish. Making it, well, exceptional!
- Cabbage in Vinaigrette
- Olive Oil - 6 tablespoons
- Rice Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Red Cabbage - 1⁄2 head, thinly sliced
- Scallions - 1⁄2 bunch, cut on the bias
- Cilantro - 1⁄2 bunch, leaves only
- Chili Sauce
- Mayonnaise - 3⁄4 cup, homemade or good quality store-bought
- Chile Paste - 3 tablespoons
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Cold Water - 2 tablespoons (approximately)
- Scallops and Breading
- Sea Scallops - 11⁄4 pounds, large
- All-Purpose Flour - 1⁄2 cup
- Cornmeal - 1⁄2 cup
- Paprika - 1-1⁄2 teaspoons
- Cayenne Pepper - 1⁄4 teaspoon
- Ground Cumin - 1-1⁄2 teaspoons
- Kosher or Sea Salt - 1-1⁄2 teaspoons
- Ground white pepper - 1-1⁄2 teaspoons
- Pure Chili Powder - 1-1⁄2 teaspoons
- Oil for deep-frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemons - 2, cut into wedges
To make the vinaigrette: In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the cabbage, scallions, and cilantro to the vinaigrette and toss together to combine and dress the vegetables.
To make the chili sauce: In a small mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise, chili paste, and lemon juice and mix well. Add the water a little at a time, using only as much as necessary to make a slightly thick sauce.
To cook the scallops: Remove the connecting muscles from the sides of the scallops and check for fragments. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, paprika, cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Mix well and pass through a sieve into a shallow bowl. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan or heavy kettle heat 11⁄2 inches of oil to 365 F. on a deep-fat thermometer. Working in batches of 6, roll the scallops in the breading, shaking off any excess. Fry the scallops in the hot oil, stirring gently, for 2 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Transfer the scallops with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, arrange the dressed cabbage on small plates and top with the scallops. Drizzle the chile sauce over the scallops and garnish with lemon wedges.