Friday, December 14, 2012

Scallop braised on touban grill 帆立の陶板焼き

Touban 陶板 means a ceramic plate, which I used previously to cook matsutake. It has a shallow ceramic plate base and you can use it to grill, or since it comes with a ceramic dome with steam hole in it you can grill/steam.

Compared to a cast iron or metal pan, ceramic plate somehow conveys heat more gently and evenly. Touban can be used on the table top for cook-as-you-eat dinners. I decided to cook shiitake mushroom and fresh diver scallops using touban.

While I could have cooked and served this at the table I cooked it on the stove and then served on plates as shown above.

Scallops: These were large diver scallops. For two appetizer-size servings, I used 4 scallops cut into two discs (total of 8 discs). Reducing the thickness allowed it to cook more quickly and evenly.

Shiitake mushrooms: I used two rather large meaty fresh shiitake mushrooms. I removed the stems and made decorative star-shaped cuts but this is optional.

I first heated up the touban on medium-low flame for 3-4 minutes until it got hot and melted a small pat of sweet butter (1 tsp). When it melted and was slightly browning I started cooking the shiitake. When I turned over the shiitake after 1 minute of cooking, I placed the scallops on the grill (left on the picture below).  I grilled one side for 30-40 seconds and then turned them over and grilled another 30-40 seconds. I then added sake (1 tsp) and let it steam for 10-15 seconds with the lid on. I removed the lid and added a dash of soy sauce (less than 1 tsp) and let it cook for another 30 seconds (left on the picture below). I turned the scallops so that the sauce coated both side. I just added cooked green beans in the last 10-15 seconds to warm them up.

The combination of brown butter, sake, and soy sauce is always an easy winner. The scallops exuded more juice than I expected. I served this on the small plate (2nd picture) and poured some of the sauce over it. I knew my wife likes this type of sauce, so I served the extra in a small dipping bowl.

The shiitake mushroom was great, almost meaty in taste. The scallops were perfectly cooked (We hate over cooked rubbery scallops; something we occasionally encounter at restaurants). My wife served small squares of toasted bread to soak up any sauce/juice from this dish. Cold sake was what we had with this.

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