Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 Dinner - Green Miso Soup with Scallops, Shitakes and Baby Bok

Well, Marczyk's had their scallops on sale today and I can never resist a good fish sale!  So, I gathered whatever looked good and green in the produce department and added a bunch of Asian-inspired flavors to make what I think is a really wonderful soup.

The lovely thing about dishes with lots of different vegetables is that they usually do well with substitutions.  If you can't get baby bok, cabbage or brussels sprouts would work just as well (although cabbage should get stir-fried for several minutes longer so it gets tender).  No serrano chiles in the store?  Use a couple of jalapenos, instead!  If you aren't a fan of cilantro (perish the thought!), Thai basil would be a wonderful substitute.  If you don't live in Colorado and can't find Hazel Del's mushroom seasoning (I buy it at the Farmer's Market during the Summer so there's always some on hand--it is truly unique and wonderful stuff!) use your favorite spice rub for fish, or just season the scallops with salt and pepper. 

Whatever you decide, make sure to add this meal to your weeknight repertoire because it's delightfully refreshing, easy to put together, and full of unique flavors to wake up your sleepy senses.

Green Miso Soup with Scallops, Shitakes and Baby Bok
Serves 6

1 T Peanut Oil
1 Leek, chopped and rinsed
1 Serrano pepper, chopped
1 10-oz. package frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup Mirin
5 cups water or vegetable stock
1 small bunch cilantro, stems removed
1 T fish sauce
2 limes, juiced
2 T white miso

For Stir-Fry: 
1 T peanut oil
6 scallops
2 T plus 2 tsp Hazel Del Mushroom seasoning
8 oz. Shitake Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 heads Baby Bok Choy, sliced
1 tsp fish sauce

Heat the peanut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped leeks and serrano and saute for two minutes, until the leeks are just a little soft.  Add peas and stir to combine.  Deglaze pan with mirin, stir, then add water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 6 minutes.  Turn the heat off and add fish sauce, cilantro and lime juice. 

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it reaches a uniform consistency (it will still be a little bit chunky).  Stir until foam disappears, then add miso, puree for another minute, and set aside.

Generously sprinkle mushroom seasoning on scallops, making sure to cover them completely with seasoning.  In a large pan, heat peanut oil on medium-high and add scallops.  Sear each side for two to three minutes until it achieves a nice, lightly crusty exterior (if you have very large scallops, cover the pan while searing to help them heat through). 

Remove scallops from pan and add mushrooms and remaining mushroom seasoning.  Cook until mushrooms are soft, then add fish sauce and bok choy and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.

Serve soup in large, shallow bowls.  Place 1 Scallop in the center of each bowl and garnish with the mushroom stir-fry and plenty of cilantro leaves. 

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