Braised Scallops with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms
Braised scallop is a very luxurious ingredient that is often used in dishes for their sweetness. This Braised Scallop with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms is covered in a thick, velvety sauce made from the essences of the scallops, shiitake mushrooms, and ginger.
The presentation is akin to an island of scallops amidst the braised mushroom and surrounded by vibrant, green broccoli. Usually served during Chinese New Year, or in a Chinese Banquet Dinner, it is sure to be both pleasing to the eyes, tongue, and health.
This recipe serves 8 – 10.
Braised Scallops with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms Recipe
First, the scallops. I’m using dried ones that my daughter bought from Hokkaido a while ago; however fresh ones, if you can get your hands on them, would be perfect. Fresh scallops would change the preparation and cooking time a little. If using dried ones, soak them, just submerged, in drinking water for about 5 hours, or until fully expanded. For fresh ones, just give them a quick rinse.
I’m using fresh shiitake mushrooms instead of dried ones this time. If using dried ones, make sure to soak them, just submerged, for about 5 hours, or until fully expanded as well.
Apart from the usual seasonings, I’m also incorporating Woschestshire sauce. I found that it gives a nice savoury tanginess to the sauce later. More tapioca flour is also included to make the sauce very thick and velvety.
Preparing the Ingredients
Mix 75ml of water with the tapioca flour until well-combined. This creates a flour slurry; or a thickening agent for our sauce. Optionally, cornstarch can be used as a replacement for tapioca flour.
Cut the broccoli from the stems, before further dividing them into bite-sized pieces. Ideally, we can pick one broccoli with our chopstick and enjoy it in one to two mouthfuls. When done, give them a rinse and set them aside.
Next, remove the shiitake mushroom stems. Notice that I have not washed them yet as fresh mushrooms turn slimy really fast when they get in contact with too much water. I will leave washing them to just before cooking. If using dried shiitake mushrooms, make sure the mushrooms have fully expanded and are soft to the touch before draining the water and cutting the stems.
Alright, our ingredients are all ready. It’s time to cook!
Braising Scallops and Mushrooms
Prepare the water for blanching our broccoli. In a stainless steel pan, fill about 1.5 litres of water and 1 tsp of salt over medium heat and wait for it to come to a boil. This will take about 8 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat, carefully adding the soaked scallops individually. Then, pour half of the water used to soak them into the pan. Set the rest of the scallop water aside.
Braise the scallops for 5 minutes or 2.5 minutes on each side on medium heat. As the expanded scallops are very fragile and prone to breaking, carefully and gently turn them with a pair of silicone tongs. If using fresh scallops, submerge them in water and blanch for about 2 – 3 minutes instead.
After the scallops are braised (or blanched) and cooked, remove them from the pan and set them aside. The gravy in the pan contains the essence and sweetness of the scallop, which will bring depth to the sauce.
Pour the rest of the water used to soak the scallop into the pan. Add the shiitake mushrooms individually and braise them on medium heat for 8 minutes. This will also extract the earthiness and flavour from the shiitake mushroom into the sauce while cooking them until tender. Make sure to stir occasionally to evenly distribute the heat, and to prevent burning at the bottom.
While the shiitake mushroom is braising, our water for blanching the broccoli is ready. Add all of them into the water. Cover the pan and let them simmer for 2 minutes. Then, fill a basin full of water and some ice. This is to shock the broccoli later.
After 2 minutes, the broccoli is done. Switch off the heat, scoop all the broccoli with a large strainer and submerge them into the cold water for 20 seconds. This process shocks the cooking broccoli, removing the residual heat to prevent them from overcooking. It also preserves the vibrant green colour.
Then, drain all the cold water from the broccoli and let it rest on a colander to drip off the excess water.
After 8 minutes, the braised mushrooms are cooked and very tender. The gravy has reduced slightly as well; it has absorbed some of the essences of the mushrooms. Give it a stir, before switching off the heat and removing them from the pan.
Now we will cook the sauce. Switch on the heat to medium. Then, add 300 ml of water and all the seasonings and ginger, except the Shaoxing wine and tapioca flour. Stir until cohesive and well-combined. Bring the sauce to a boil for 3 minutes. This infuses the ginger’s flavour and blends the seasonings.
After 3 minutes, give it a taste. It should be very tasty, with a good balance of sweetness, saltiness and savouriness. There should also be a little heat from the ginger. More seasonings can be added if preferred.
Now add in the Shaoxing wine, stirring lightly to combine. Carefully scoop the ginger strips and set them aside. Then, gradually add the tapioca flour while stirring to evenly distribute it, thickening the gravy. Stir until the colour is well-blended.
Switch off the heat and pour the sauce into a heat-resistant jug for easy pouring later.
Assembling Braised Scallop with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms
On a large serving plate, carefully place the scallops in the centre. Then, individually place the mushrooms all around the scallop, before repeating with the blanched broccoli. I like to arrange the ginger strips all around the border of the scallops and mushrooms; this is optional. Lastly, pour the sauce all over the broccoli, mushrooms and scallops.
Serve immediately while still warm.
Sweet, salty, savoury – the flavours are very delicious. The earthiness from the shiitake mushrooms and the natural sweetness of the scallops stands out. The broccoli is crunchy, contrasting with the tender mushrooms and chewy scallops. Every bite gives a lovely luxurious and festive sensation, as though one is at a celebration dinner or happy reunion.
This Braised Scallop with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms dish is perfect with rice, noodles or on its own.
Braised Scallop with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Sharp Kitchen Knife
- Chopping Board
- Non-Stick Frying Pan
- Silicone Spatula
- Food Tongs
- Large strainer
- Stockpot/ Deep Pan
- 12 pieces dried scallops, soaked in 28°C water for 5 hours, or use fresh/ defrosted ones
- 375 ml water
- 500 g broccoli
- 1 tsp salt
- 200 g shiitake mushroom, fresh
- ½ inch knob ginger, cut to strips
- 1.5 tbsp tapioca flour
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp garlic oil
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- ½ tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp Woschestshire sauce
- Add 75ml of water to the tapioca flour. Mix until well-combined. Set aside.
- Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Wash and set aside.
- Remove stems from shiitake mushrooms. Set aside.
- Add 1.5 litres of water and 1 tsp of salt into a stockpot over medium heat. Cover the lid.
- In a non-stick pan over medium heat, braise the soaked scallops with half of the water used for soaking, for 2.5 minutes. Flip the scallops and braise for another 2.5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same non-stick pan, add all the soaked scallop water. Braise the shiitake mushrooms for 8 minutes, or until well-cooked and tender, turning them occasionally.
- The water in the stockpot should be near-boiling. Blanch the broccoli for about 2 minutes. Prepare a basin of cold water on the side. When the broccoli is done, scoop and immerse into the cold water for 20 seconds. Drain the water. Rest the broccoli in a colander and set aside.
- After 8 minutes, the shiitake mushrooms are cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add 300ml of water, pepper, sugar, garlic oil, sesame oil, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and all the cut ginger to the pan. Stir until well-combined. Cover the pan and let it come to a boil. This takes about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 3 minutes, the sauce is ready. Adjust to taste. Pour in the Shaoxing wine. Remove the ginger from the sauce and set aside.
- While stirring, slowly pour the tapioca flour into the pan. Continue to mix until well-combined and thickened. Switch off the heat. Pour out the sauce into a jug, or a container with a pointed tip.
- Place the scallops in the centre of the serving plate. Line with Shiitake Mushrooms, followed by blanched broccoli. Top with the ginger strips, and evenly pour the sauce all over the dish.
- Serve immediately.
- If using fresh/ defrosted scallops, the soaking time can be skipped. Instead, rinse, submerge and blanch them in water for about 2 – 3 minutes.
- If using dried Shiitake mushrooms, pre-soak them for about 5 hours, or until soft.
- 1 tbsp of corn starch can be used to substitute tapioca flour.
- This dish can be served cold (ala large Banquet dinners), or at room temperature. However, it tastes the best when still hot.
- Can be enjoyed with a bowl of hot, fluffy white rice, or on its own.