Seared Scallops, Cured Pork Belly with Pomegranate Molasses and Chili Garlic Drizzle
12 fresh 10/20 scallops, abductor muscle removed*
12 each 2-inch by 2-inch by 1-inch thick slices of braised pork belly, recipe follows
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 tablespoons chile garlic oil, garnish, recipe follows
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, garnish
micro greens/herbs, garnish
salt and pepper, as needed
*The abductor muscle is also called the foot. It is a small rectangular tab of fibrous muscle attached to the side of some scallops.
- Season scallops with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until just shimmering. Add scallops and sear for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and sear for an additional minute or until slightly opaque in the center. Set scallops aside.
- In a clean saute pan over medium high heat add oil and sear chilled pork belly for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until crispy and heated through.
- To serve alternate scallops and pork belly on a serving patter, drizzle with garlic chile oil and pomegranate molasses. Garnish with micro greens.
Braised Pork Belly
1 pound uncut bacon slab
1 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup aji mirin
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 each star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Place bacon slab in a dutch oven or roasting pan. Add water, soy, aji mirin and vinegar. Sprinkle in the brown sugar, peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Cover tightly (use a couple layers of tinfoil if you don’t have a heavy lid for your dish) and roast in the oven 3-4 hours.
- Remove from oven, uncover and let cool in the liquid until it reaches room temperature. Once cool, put it in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight.
Chile Garlic Drizzle
1 stalk lemongrass
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons green onions, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
5 red Fresno chilies, stems removed and coarsely pureed in a food processor
- Peel outer 2 layers of lemongrass. Trim top two-thirds (skinny part) and discard. Trim very bottom root end. Cut lemongrass in half lengthwise and then finely slice lemongrass into very thin half moons.
- Place canola and sesame oil together in small saucepan over low heat. Add lemongrass. Cook on low for 15-20 minutes or until small bubbles from the lemongrass subside.
- Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, green onion, fish sauce and chilies. Stir well and allow to sit 30 minutes. Transfer to a small mason jar with a tight fitting lid and use as needed.