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Five-Spice Scallops with Noodles

Five-Spice Scallops with Noodles
This recipe calls for five-spice powder, a common ingredient in Chinese cooking. The blend typically includes ground cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 lb. fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 1/4 lb. large sea scallops
  • 2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 lb. sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 4 green onions, white and pale green parts, chopped

Directions:

Prepare the oranges and noodles
Grate 1 tsp. zest from the oranges and squeeze 1/2 cup juice. Set both aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Cook the scallops
Meanwhile, sprinkle the scallops on both sides with the five-spice powder, and season lightly with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the scallops in a single layer to the pan and cook until well browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Turn the scallops over and cook until well browned on the outside and just opaque in the center, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate.

Cook the vegetables
In the same fry pan over high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar snap peas and stir-fry just until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Stir in the orange zest and juice, wine and soy sauce and cook until slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked noodles and green onions and toss gently to combine.

Divide the noodles and snap peas among 4 plates, top with the scallops and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).