Chef’s Corner – Scallop Tartare Pier 23 Style

June 12, 2018
Summer Time Blues? NOPE!

School’s out and here at Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bar,  we’re jumping into summer with great new dishes. Think splashy colors and bright flavors. One of the dishes I’m excited to introduce is our version of Scallop Tartare.

For my recipe, I’m using Day-Boat* scallops from Maine, a mixture of sweet watermelon, mango and Korean melon dressed in a light Japanese-style ponzu sauce with fresh lemon, light soy and Thai chilies.

*These scallops are never frozen and dry-packed as opposed to canned in a preserving solution; retaining their natural sweet flavor and firm texture.

One of the secrets to this dish is marinating and compressing the fruit in our vacuum sealer, which intensifies the fruit’s flavors and texture. You can still enjoy this dish at home, even if you don’t have a vacuum sealer.

Here’s a recipe for just that.



Scallop Tartare with Melon & Mango

¼ of a small seedless watermelon
1 ripe mango
½ Korean melon
Peel, seed or pit the fruits and cut in small dice, then gently toss with the marinade and chill for 1 hour.

Fruit marinade
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 Thai chili seeded and minced

1lb. day boat scallops, cut in medium dice. Keep chilled until serving.

Ponzu sauce
¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
¼ cup light sodium soy
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Extra virgin olive oil
Micro cilantro
Minced scallion
Minced pickled ginger
Fried shrimp crackers in a couple cups of canola oil (crackers available at Asian markets or on line)

Serve in a small pot of canola oil heated to 350˚. Fry the shrimp crackers a small amount at a time, they’ll sink and then in about a minute puff up 3x their size. Immediately remove them with a wok strainer and place on a paper towel lined sheet tray. Let cool. You can do this up to 4 hours ahead.

Place a small mound of diced scallop in the center of each plate. Cover with a spoonful or two of the diced fruit. Drizzle a little of the Ponzu sauce and olive oil over the top.

Sprinkle a bit of micro cilantro, scallion and pickled ginger all over the tartare.

Serve and present with fried shrimp crackers.