Grilled Sea Scallops with Cilantro & Black Bean Sauce
Source: Eating Well
Notes:Fermented black beans, oxidized soybeans that are salt-dried, have a savory, salty and slightly bitter flavor. They are frequently used in Chinese stir-fries, marinades and sauces. Before using, they should be soaked in water 10-30 minutes to get rid of excess salt. When purchasing fermented black beans, look for shinny and firm beans, rather than dull and dry with salt spots. Once open, store in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. Black bean-garlic sauce, made from pureed salted and fermented black soybeans, is a widely used condiment in Chinese cooking and can be found with the Asian food in most supermarkets. Shao hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine available in many Asian specialty markets and some large supermarkets. Japane
If using fermented black beans, place them in a small bowl, cover with water and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until light golden and fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the black beans (or black bean-garlic sauce) and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Carefully pour in rice wine (or sake), mirin and sesame oil; lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, lightly crushing the black beans, until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat grill to high.
Put cilantro, lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a blender; process until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a large bowl, add scallops and gently toss to coat with the marinade. Divide the scallops among 6 skewers, spacing about 1/2 inch apart. Season with pepper. (Discard marinade.) Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the scallops until golden and crisp on the edges and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the black bean sauce and garnish with cilantro sprigs.