Japanese-style Scallops with Soy Butter, Black Sesame

Serves 2


large handful of sesame seeds
200g dried thin Japanese wheat noodles (somen)
2tbsp toasted sesame oil
1tsp salt
large knob of unsalted butter
6 fresh fat scallops with coral
1tbsp Japanese soy sauce
shichimi pepper to serve, optional


Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying an over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until fragrant, tossing occasionally so they don’t stick or burn. Tip the seeds into a saucer and set to one side.

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions; drain, then dress with the sesame oil and salt. Set to one side.

Heat the butter in the frying pan over a high heat until sizzling. Add the scallops and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with the soy sauce, then toss the scallops in what is now a soy butter sauce.

Divide the dressed noodles between 2 shallow serving bowls. Top each with 3 scallops and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and some shichimi pepper, if using. Serve with a green side salad.

Recipe supplied by Mimi Aye

Cook’s tip

Scallops often stick and leave a “skin” in the frying pan. You can prevent this by making sure the scallops are not wet when they go into the pan. Dry by dabbing them with kitchen paper beforehand.

This dish is also really good with a Japanese sesame salt called gomashio sprinkled on the scallops, through slightly less pretty. Leave out the shoyu. Pound the toasted sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar to a fine powder, then mix with 1 teaspoon salt.

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