Whenever I come up with a fusion invention dish, I’d always think twice if I should be sharing the recipe because my combination of flavours can be quite odd sometimes. Perhaps because I have adventurous taste buds, so almost anything works for me but I think that’s just the fun part of experimental cooking cos’ we’d never know what we’d come up with until the end product is finished. So yep, this time round, I’ve used Chinese spinach (or ‘puay leng’ in local term) and shimeji mushrooms as accompaniments to my spiced couscous and topped that off with some pan seared scallops smothered with an Asian-style peanut chilli sauce. I added some acidity (lemon juice) to the couscous so as to balance out the richness and sweetness of the sauce. It worked nicely. Would have made more sauce if peanut butter wasn’t that fattening and high in calories!
Pan Seared Scallops with Spinach Couscous Recipe
Ingredients (serves 3)
250ml hot water
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
250g spinach, cut into 1/2″ sections
150g shimeji mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Peanut chilli sauce: (mix in a small bowl)
1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
1 tbsp reduced fat evaporated milk
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp warm water
1. Place couscous in a bowl and pour the hot water over it. Let stand for 2-3 minutes or till water has been completely absorbed. Then fluff up the couscous with a fork. Set aside.
2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
3. Heat oil in pan and sear the scallops till golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
4. In the same pan, fry the mushrooms briefly then add the garlic and spinach. Stir fry till the spinach leaves begin to wilt. Season with a little salt.
5. Transfer the spinach-mushroom mix to the couscous bowl. Drizzle lemon juice and add cumin and paprika. Mix everything up thoroughly and portion out to serving plates.
6. Place the seared scallops on top of the couscous and drizzle the peanut sauce over.