Caramelized Scallops And Rice Noodles

1lb. fresh bay or ocean scallops, rinsed and drained
8 oz. dry rice stick noodles*
cooking spray
3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
2/3 cup, (6) green onions
1/2 red bell pepper strips very thinly sliced
1- teaspoon chicken base or bouillon mixed with ¼ cup hot water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce*
½ – 1 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce*
2 teaspoons dark Oriental sesame oil*
¼ teaspoon salt
1 recipe Caramelized Sugar Sauce

1. If using large ocean scallops cut in half, thirds or fourths depending on size and set aside.

2. Cook noodles in boiling water for 2 -3 minutes until al dente, rinse, drain and set aside. Note; do not over cook noodles. They should be slightly underdone.

3. Thinly slice on the diagonal the white part of the green onions, and then cut the green stems into 1-2 inch thin strips.

4. Mix chicken base with ¼ cup hot water. Stir in 1- tablespoon fish sauce, lime juice, chili sauce, sesame oil, and salt into broth and set aside.

5. Prepare Caramelized Sugar Sauce according to recipe directions.

6. While sugar is caramelizing and about to turn brown (it will look hard and crystallized), lightly spray a non-stick or stick-resistant wok or large skillet with cooking spray and preheat on medium-high. When pan is hot add garlic, sliced whites of green onion and scallops. Note; remember to keep an eye on caramelizing sugar. Stir-fry over medium heat for 3 minutes.

7. Drizzle caramel sauce and 1-tablespoon fish sauce over scallops it will sizzle and spit, then form a lump of caramel. Continue to stir-fry until sugar has dissolved and combined with liquids in pan and caramelized scallops, 1-2 minutes. Remove scallops and set aside, covering to keep warm.

8. Add noodles to pan and stir fry with caramelized sauce until coated. Add chicken broth mixture to pan along with rice noodles, red pepper strips and green onion strips. Toss all ingredients together well making sure that noodles are coated with sauce and al dente before adding scallops back to pan. Toss/stir fry noodles and scallops together about 30 to 60 seconds to make sure all is heated through and serve.

Caramelized Sugar Sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water

1. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat. Caramelize sugar by stirring often until sugar melts and turns golden (about 12 minutes). Do not let sauce turn dark brown and burn. Remove from heat and use immediately in recipe.

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