Spicy Scallop Roll

Everyone tells me I need to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Perhaps once I watch it, I might be a bit better at making sushi; the keyword in that sentence being "perhaps." I'm pretty rubbish at making sushi (not counting Korean "sushi" a.k.a. kimbap, which I've got some standard skills in) though, to be honest, I don't make it v. often. The only other sushi post I've shared so far is salmon skin rolls, which are kind of a cop out, as they don't contain raw fish. Oh well. But, here's the thing: I'm not a sushi master so me sharing how to make a standard tuna roll would be kind of dodgy, you know? And really, what is there to a standard roll other than nori, rice, and the chosen piece of raw fish, right? I mean, in that case, you should go watch Jiro do his thang. Instead, I'm sharing slightly more complicated rolls with accoutrements and fancy seasonings to make it more worth my while (and frankly, worth your while as well).

Anyway, I'm here to save those salmon skin rolls from their insane loneliness of being the only sushi recipe on the blog. I'm rescuing them with spicy scallop rolls. Spicy scallop rolls are actually one of my favorites (along with white tuna, yellowtail & jalapeno, salmon skin rolls, and unagi). I love the soft texture of the scallops and the spicy seasoning. On a whim, I decided I wanted to make hwe dup bap (which I'll actually be sharing tomorrow). Whilst at the fishmonger's, I just generally asked what they had available that was sushi-grade. The answer: tuna, salmon, and scallop. So, I decided to use the tuna and salmon for the hwe dup bap and the scallops to make some sushi.
Ingredients [yields 1 to 1½ dozen rolls]:
6 scallops, cleaned and dried
¼ cup spicy mayo (see below)
½ scallion, finely chopped
¼ cup shallot crunchies
1 cup cooked sushi rice
2 sheets nori

spicy mayo
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon malt vinegar
dash Worcestershire
2 teaspoons Sriracha
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup canola oil

shallot crunchies
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons panko
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
+ oil for frying

For the rice, you can go with plain jane rice, or you can jazz it up with a little rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, and sesame seeds. This is 100% optional, but recommended. For the 1 cup of cooked rice, use about ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Mix the seasonings together before stirring them into the warm rice.
Once the rice is out of the way, get to work on the spicy mayo. Start with an egg yolk, rice wine vinegar, malt vinegar, Worcestershire, Sriracha, salt, and sesame oil. Whisk together to combine. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil, whisking continuously, until you're left with a lovely and thick and orange sauce. This quantity of spicy mayo is actually quite generous and probably twice what is needed for this recipe. So, if you're not keen on wasting the mayo, consider doubling up on the scallops. I mean, that just means twice the sushi, which doesn't sound like a bad thing to me.
For the crunchies, which I think are a vital component that may seem superfluous but actually add greatly to the texture of the rolls, mix together the flour, panko, milk, and shallots. Use a spoon to drop bits of batter into hot oil (350F) and cook until golden and crispy. Allow to drain on a paper towel. These crunchies are quite delicious on their own and make a nice chef's snack.
With all of the components ready, you can get to work on preparing the actual fish. Remove the abductor muscle from the scallops and finely chop. I like to slice it the scallop horizontally twice and then vertically in one direction twice and vertically in the opposite direction twice (basically turning the scallop into a rubik's cube) and then bounce the knife up and down like a maniac to further break down the the pieces.
Add the chopped scallop to a bowl along with the finely chopped scallions and a few big spoonfuls of the spicy mayo.
Stir to combine and test for seasoning. If you think it needs more flavor, add in a little more mayo. I like my spicy scallop mixture to be a paler orange, kind of creamsicle-colored.
Whenever I've eaten spicy scallop roll, the presentation has been the same. It's always a little circle of nori, rice filling the center, but not quite to the height of the nori, and then scallop piled on top. Unfortunately for me (and probably for you), I wasn't quite skilled enough to pull that off (which I partially blame on the fact that we'd run out of sushi nori and I had to use roasted and seasoned nori instead) so I just went ahead and made a kimbap-style roll and topped it with the scallop mixture. If you're like Jiro's best friend/sous chef and you can make it look prettier, please go for it. But, I won't lie and say I hated my presentation. In the end, I think it looked okay and more importantly, it tasted fantastic so I wasn't too disappointed.
Top each roll with a generous amount of spicy scallop mixture and then sprinkle on some of the shallot crunchies. These aren't the most attractive rolls - I probably could've added a sprinkle of scallion to the top for some more color - but what they lack in looks they make up for in flavor.
Serve up these bad boys immediately (so that the crunchies maintain their crunchiness) and enjoy. Because these are essentially pre-seasoned, there's no need for extra soy sauce (though I would not object to a dab of wasabi). That being said, if there's someone with some sort of sodium deficiency that needs to meet their quota with some soy sauce, I wouldn't freak out. My family was fine with the rolls as is.

Now, to describe spicy scallop rolls: the scallops are velvety and tender (and if I can use a not-so-nice word, "slimy" but in the best way possible - in the freshest sushi kind of way), the spicy mayo is tangy and bright and it actually does a great job complementing the natural sweetness of the scallop, the crunchies add that much-needed textural contrast, and of course, you need a little rice and nori because it's sushi (and because they provide a nice neutral filler which gives the roll balance). What else can I say? It's delicious!
Here's the recipe page:


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