Scallop Ceviche (with a side of science)
Here is a recipe (a guideline really) that I made for my clients and their guests many times this summer. It’s light and refreshing as an appetizer or even as part of a main course on those hot summer days – especially since you don’t need to turn on the oven or the grill. As with any ceviche recipe, this uses raw scallops “cooked” in lime juice (and the word cooked in quotations is always used letting us know the scallops are no longer raw but not cooked with heat). If you are interested in how lime juice “cooks” the scallops, you can check out a good article from Robert L. Wolke in the Washington Post, or in short, the citric acid from the lime denatures the scallop protein causing it to unravel and reconfigure itself in a tighter structure, becoming firmer. The citric acid performs the same process as heat does. That’s why it is said the scallop is “cooked”.
Try out the recipe, it’s tasty, and it can be used on all kinds of seafood.
For this recipe, I’ve used a “20-30″ (number of pieces per pound) Canadian sea scallop. You can use something bigger or smaller if you like, but I like this size. Try to use a product that is Ocean Wise or sustainable.
1 1/2 lb scallops – remove attaching muscle and rinse
1 tbsp lime zest
about 2/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup green onions – sliced
1/3 cup red, yellow or orange peppers (or a combination) – small dice
2 tbsp cilantro – chopped
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic – minced
salt to taste – 1-2 tsp
After cleaning and rinsing the scallops, slice them into 3-4 thin discs. Placed sliced scallops into a bowl (glass, plastic or wood, but not metal). Add lime juice and zest. Use just enough juice to just cover scallops, add more juice if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 4 hours, but not much more than about 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, add onions, garlic, cilantro, peppers, olive oil and salt. Serve with your favourite crackers or fresh made pita chips.