Pan-Seared Sea Scallops in Black Bean Sauce
- ⅓ cup Chinese salted black beans (also called “preserved” or “fermented” black beans)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 24 large sea scallops, rinsed and pat dry
- 1 ounce fresh ginger, minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup Shaoxing wine
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
- Put the black beans in a small bowl with enough water to cover. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high. Stir-fry the scallions in hot oil until golden, about 1 minute; transfer to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Sear the scallops in oil until browned, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
- Stir-fry ginger and garlic in the skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add the black beans, wine, and ⅓ cup water, stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil. Stir the tapioca starch and 1 teaspoon water together; pour into the sauce and stir until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Stir sesame oil through the sauce and transfer to a serving platter. Arrange the scallops into the sauce and garnish with the fried scallions.
Quadruple the quantity of the sauce and freeze for future use to make this recipe even easier. Savory black bean sauce is also excellent with braised pork ribs. For a vegan version of the dish, serve with grilled, steamed, or pan-fried tofu or seitan.
What others are saying
Aja A says:
First time trying out fermented black beans last night and I surprisingly liked it a lot. So many different flavors happening in this dish, I could kinda taste the scallops. Still a good dish and will make again.
Sam Dalton says:
I really like scallops, and definitely enjoyed them with this Chinese black bean sauce. It was definitely a unique taste, but in a good way, very flavorful. This is a great dish for date nights, but also quick enough to prepare on a busy weeknight too.
Monica Allen says:
I stalked this recipe just for the sauce, and made a large batch to freeze. I always have a hard time cooking scallops but this recipe cooks them for the right amount of time, so that they're not rubbery and overcooked.
Sheila Long says:
Made a vegan version of this dish using pan-fried tofu. The fried scallions on top was the perfect final touch. I'd love to make this again.
Jenny J says:
I used blackening seasoning on the scallops and paired it with fresh veggies. I really liked the black bean sauce. Next time I will try it with the braised pork ribs, as suggested in the tip box.