Lemongrass-skewered scallops with pak choi

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Chinese greens such as pak choi, choi sum, mustard greens and Chinese cabbages are easier to come by than they used to be. In fact they're beginning to rival our native cabbages in popularity. And it's easy to see why. Simply stir-fried with some ginger, spring onions and with a dash of soy sauce added at the end, these greens are unrecognisable as the kind of boiled cabbage many of us grew up on. You can pretty much use all of the leaves, and there's no boiling required. I've noticed some at pick-your-own farms, and you can grow your own from seeds, available from most garden centres.

Chinese greens such as pak choi, choi sum, mustard greens and Chinese cabbages are easier to come by than they used to be. In fact they're beginning to rival our native cabbages in popularity. And it's easy to see why. Simply stir-fried with some ginger, spring onions and with a dash of soy sauce added at the end, these greens are unrecognisable as the kind of boiled cabbage many of us grew up on. You can pretty much use all of the leaves, and there's no boiling required. I've noticed some at pick-your-own farms, and you can grow your own from seeds, available from most garden centres.

2 sticks of lemongrass, halved lengthways
16 or 20 medium-sized scallops, coral removed
250g Chinese greens
Bunch of spring onions, trimmed and sliced into 4 on the angle
A small piece of root ginger, scraped and shredded
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2tbsp sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the black-bean sauce

2tbsp Chinese fermented black beans, soaked in warm water for an hour, then drained
1tbsp chopped coriander
1tbsp rice wine
1tbsp light soy sauce
1tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil

First make the black-bean sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Carefully skewer the scallops on to the lemongrass sticks and season. Prepare the Chinese greens by cutting any roots off, but leaving the white stems on. Cut them into evenly sized pieces, say about 3-4cm lengths, or just in half if they are small. In a large wok or non-stick frying pan, heat the sesame oil and fry the Chinese greens with the spring onions, ginger and garlic for 3-4 minutes until they are wilted, stirring every so often.

Meanwhile heat a griddle pan or large frying pan until almost smoking. Lightly oil the scallops and cook them for about 2 minutes on each side. Arrange the greens on warmed serving plates, lay the skewered scallops on top and spoon over the dressing. If you want to make it more substantial, serve with rice.

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