Scallops in a paper bag with egg noodles and ginger for 4
8 Large scallops
2Â½ ounces (75g) fine egg noodles
2 shallots, finely diced
Â¼ lb. (100g) carrots cut into fine julienne strips
1 inch (2.5 cm) ginger root cut into fine julienne strips
4 spring onions cut into fine julienne strips
1 tbsp. chopped basil
Â½ cup fish stock
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. butter
You will also need 4 sheets of parchment paper 10 x 15 inches
(25 x 38 cm) (greaseproof will do, but it is not quite as good).
Oven: 450ÂºF / 230ÂºC
Prepare the scallops, reserving the juice and frills, then slice them in half horizontally, adding a little olive oil. Boil the noodles until almost cooked. Soften the shallots in the butter with the carrots, ginger and seasoning and cook them gently for three minutes. Take them out and reserve them, leaving any juices in the pan to which you now ass the juice and frills from the scallops, and the fish stock. Bring to a boil and reduce it for a minute before adding the cream. Strain it and pass it through a fine sieve. Fold the basil into the noodles and season them, adding just a little of the sauce to loosen the texture lightly.
Sear the scallops very rapidly in a dry pan. Make the paper parcels. Using one sheet per person, fold the papers in half, widthwise, to give them a crease, and open them up again. Pile up tiny quantities of noodles, vegetables, sauce, and four slices of scallop per person on one side of the fold. Fold the paper over the top and crimp it, like a Cornish pasty. Cook them for five minutes. If you like, you can pour in some sauce, and eat them straight from the paper bag.
How to prepare scallops
You can buy scallops that have been already prepared by a fishmonger - but if you can get them fresh in the shells, this is how to open them!
Hold the scallop, flat side up in a thick cloth. Put the point of a small, strong knife, into the gap near the hinge and twist it sharply to open. Then take a long-bladed knife, and slide it right across, just inside the flatter shell, severing the connecting muscle that automatically opens the whole thing up. Scoop it from the other half, with a similar action, keeping the contents intact. On a board, cut off the frill (which is really the scallops’ eyes) and keep it for sauces. Discard everything except the pink roe and the white meat.
Never over-cook them - they need the briefest time imaginable, and are even perfectly delicious eaten raw, finely sliced and dressed with olive oil, pepper and lemon juice.