Dried Scallop Rice Soup

Dried Scallop Rice Soup

I don’t know about you but I like eating soup as it is my all-time favorite comfort food.  When I saw Maangchi making this abalone porridge, it reminded me of the similar rice soup I made often in the distant past using fresh seafood (scallop & shrimp) and white fish and very occasionally with chicken.  Maangchi’s recipe inspires me to take this familiar dish dressing it up with Korean flavour (sesame oil and roasted seaweed nori)  and sends me on a search for some fish to be the main flavour of the soup.

Upon reading about dried scallop I decide to use it because I think this salted version of scallop would impart a lot of taste to the soup.  And I was right for this soup packs a wallop of umami from the scallop alone. You wouldn’t need to season it with anything else but I recommend a bit of fish sauce which enhances the already flavorful soup with yet another complex umami.  If you like me, a pinch of sea salt would tight everything together but it is not necessary as the broth has plenty of salt from the dried fish and fish sauce.

I thought the use of diced carrot is brilliant for it brightens up the mostly white soup and nicely contrasts the bright and dark green color of spring onion and seaweed.  I love fresh ginger so use it generously in my version of the recipe.

I won’t describe how it good tastes but I tell you this:  it is food for the soul and feast for the eyes.  So good so that when I offered some to friends they came back asking for more and wanted to learn how to make it.  Go ahead make some and discover it for yourself.  It freezes well only if there would be any leftover.

Let’s make the soup, shall we.


100 g dried scallop, no color-dyed &  preservatives

1 heaping Cup uncooked rice **

2 Liters spring or filtered water

minced garlic

1-2 inches fresh ginger, julienned or coarsely chopped

1 small carrot, diced

2 Tablespoons sesame oil, preferred roasted kind

1 to 2 teaspoons fish sauce

sea salt as needed


soaked dried scallop and soaked rice


green onion, thinly sliced — highly recommended

Korean roasted seaweed seasoned with sesame oil  —  an absolute must-have

Shichimi, Japanese 7-spice hot pepper

garlic chili sauce

** I use Haiga rice or Japanese short-grain rice.  If you use other type of rice, add an extra 1 to 2 Tablespoons of glutinous rice (sticky rice).

I do not rinse Haiga rice but other types of rice.


1. Soak rice and scallop separately in water, for at least 2 hours before cooking.

soaked dried scallop and soaked rice

Soaked Scallop & Rice in Water

2.  Prepare garlic, ginger and carrot.

Prep garlic, ginger & carrot

Prep garlic, ginger & carrot

3.  Drain the rice and scallop, reserve the soaking liquid.   Add more water to measure 1.5 liter or about 6 ¼ cups.

prep all ingredients before cooking

prep all ingredients before cooking

4.  Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, carrot and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.  Do not brown the garlic.

Sauté the herbs and carrot

Sauté the herbs and carrot in sesame oil

5.  Add the scallop and rice.  Continue sautéing to well coat the rice with oil.

Sauté all ingredients

Sauté all ingredients

6.  Continue stirring and cooking until the rice grains look translucent, about 5 to 7 more minutes.

the well sautéed ingredients just before adding liquid

the well sautéed ingredients just before adding liquid

7.  Add the measured liquid to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer.  Cover the pot with a lid.

adding liquid

adding liquid

8.   Cook until the rice is well expanded, about 50 to 60  minutes; stirring occasionally.

9.  In the meantime, prepare the green onion and wash the dishes.  Crumble the seasoned roasted seaweed in a plastic bag.

chopped green onion

chopped green onion

10.  Add the fish sauce.  Add more water to thinning the soup if it’s too thick for your taste.

11.  Season with sea salt only if necessary and cook for about 5 more minutes.  The soup should have a creamy consistency by now.

12.  Turn off the heat.  Ladle the soup in a bowl and garnish with the condiments.

Soup with the condiments

Soup with the condiments

13.  Enjoy.

Enjoy the hearty tasty soup

Enjoy the hearty tasty soup

I particularly enjoy this soup with an egg simmering slowly in a serving portion to poach its white and yolk to a softness perfection.   Heavenly!

Poaching an egg in a serving-portion soup

Poaching an egg in a serving-portion soup

In a spicier version with a quarter teaspoon of garlic chili sauce.  Yummy spicy!

And those tender pieces of scallop just melt as soon as they touch your tongue.  I can’t get enough of this soup.  Addictive!

Tender scallop rice soup

Tender scallop rice soup

sweet potato coconut milk shrimp soup

Sweet potato, coconut milk and nutmeg, yum!  I love this version of the soup from the Guadeloupe islands which called for monk fish.  I never had monk fish, have you?  In fact I don’t ever recall seeing it at local supermarket or even at special fish store.  Upon some research about monk fish I decide to substitute it with white prawn and it’s delicious just as I imagine.  I also revise the cooking method a bit by caramelising the potato and onion to bring out more flavor.  This soup is super easy but requires a bit of work like peeling the shrimp, making the broth, chopped everything and blend the soup in the blender, but it is all worth it. Either chunky or creamy you’re going to love it.  Even if you don’t like coconut milk, I highly recommend using it because  you won’t even taste it.

Of course you can use any meaty white-flesh fish or lobster tail in place of shrimp and very light chicken broth if no fish broth available.  My version of shrimp make use of the shell  to produce the fish both.

The soup is beautiful to look at with a deep turmeric yellow tinted with orange bits from the carrot and… wait until you taste it, heavenly!

I hope you enjoy making and eating this soup in welcoming autumn.  Please give me some fed back of how you like it and if you substitute any ingredients, especially the fish.

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Shrimp Soup

8 servings


500 g Prawn or large Shrimp

600 g Sweet potato

240 ml/1 Cup coconut milk

2 large Carrots

1 large white/sweet Onion, diced

4 cloves of Garlic, minced

4 branches of  fresh Oregano, minced/or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon of freshly ground Nutmeg

1.5 – 2 liters of fish Broth, see instruction at step 3 below

4 Tablespoons of Olive oil or non-flavor oil of your choice

Salt & ground Pepper to taste

fresh coriander & shichimi (optional) for garnish


1.  Peel the sweet potato and carrot and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Chopped the oregano leaves if used fresh.

2.  Peel the prawn, reserve the shell.

3.  Roast the prawn shell in a large 5-quart soup pot until it turns pink.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat to simmer and let it cook for 20-25 minutes.

4.  Drain & reserve the broth; discard the cooked prawn shell.

5.  Warm the oil in the soup pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onion for a few minutes then add in the potato and carrot cubes and continue sauté for 5 minutes.

6.  Lower the heat and continue to cook slowly to caramelise the vegetables and onion; stir frequently; about 20 minutes.

7.  Add the minced garlic, oregano and ground nutmeg  and cook for about 5 minutes more.

8.  Add the reserved broth.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat to bubbly simmering, about 20-25 minutes.

9.  In the meantime, half the prawn length-wise and cut into 1-inch pieces.  Chop the coriander.

10.  Turn off the heat.  Carefully mix the soup in a blender in batches.  Reserve back in the pot.

11.  Add the coconut milk and the pieces of prawns and simmer it on medium heat, about 10 minutes.

12.  Serve the soup in individual bowl, garnish with chopped coriander.



1.  If you decide to use a meaty fish in place of prawn and do not have fish broth, a well-diluted version of chicken broth can be used to no ill-affect.

2.  The soup freeze well so at step 11, the prawn/fish can be omitted.  Add the prawn/fish when you reheat and serve the soup.

Quinoa Pilaf


quinoa pilaf with roasted pecan

cooked quinoa pilaf with roasted pecan

There are many ways to prepare quinoa, which I have eaten for years and it has recently become trendy, as a one-dish meal, a side dish or can be used in a creative salad.

Cooked quinoa takes on flavour of any dish it is served with, very well.  It is fluffier than rice once cooked and packs a powerful 20 percent of complete amino acids, the most of any grains & seeds.

As long as I prepare it as a side dish as in place of rice,  I like the ratio 1 part quinoa:1.5 part  liquid;  anything else thrown in is a bonus.

Here is one simple way that I often prepare and serve it as a side dish which many friends have enjoyed.  You can easily double or triple this recipe.

Quinoa pilaf

4 servings, as a side dish.


1 cup quinoa, well washed & drained

1.5 cup hot liquid, water/full-strength vegetable broth/well-diluted chicken broth

.5 medium-size white onion, chopped

a bunch of curly parsley, washed & finely chopped

(green onion works well, green and white part, thinly chopped)

a hand full roasted nuts, chopped pecan/chopped walnut/whole pine nuts

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

salt to taste

special equipment: a fine mesh sieve/strainer


1. Thoroughly wash the quinoa using a fine mesh sieve, set aside to dry, at least 20 minutes before cooking.

2. Wash the herb, set aside to dry.  Roast the nuts, set aside to cool.  Heat the liquid in a microwave or let it simmer over a stove top.

3. Chopped the onion.

4. Sauté onion in olive oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium high heat  until the onion well coated and slightly soften, a few minutes.

5. Mix in the prepared quinoa,  and sauté until a nutty aroma comes out, about 5 minutes.

sautéing quinoa and chopped white onion in olive oil

sautéing quinoa and chopped white onion in olive oil

6. Carefully pour in the prepared liquid for it might splash.  Bring it to a boil then turn down the heat and let it simmer, well covered.

You might want to season it lightly with sea salt at this point, to your taste.  Let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

7. In the meantime, chop the herb & the roasted nut.

8. Throw in the chopped herb in the last 5 minutes of cooking and put the cover back on.  If you use fresh cilantro, mix it in at the last-minute just before serving.

9. Turn off the heat.  Leave it cover for 5 minutes more or so.

10.  Mix in half the nut and fluff the quinoa with a fork.  Serve immediately or cover to keep warm and serve later.  Pass the rest of the nut around the table.  Season with if necessary.

cooked quinoa adorned with chopped parsley & roasted walnuts

cooked quinoa adorned with chopped parsley & roasted walnuts

Here is a close-up of another batch of quinoa pilaf prepared at my friend Alice’s using the antique pot passed down from her late mother:

quinoa pilaf with roasted walnuts

quinoa pilaf with roasted walnuts

As with any cooked grains leftover stored in the fridge tends to become hard so it’s no different with quinoa.  Just reheat it slowly in a microwave at low-powered setting for a few minutes to bring it back to taste.  You can even mix in a teaspoon or two of water to moisten if it seemed too hard.

I had wonderful leftover quinoa with a fried egg mixed in turning it to a delicious one-dish meal.  On occasions I brought it out to room temperature and added it in a green salad.  Once I put leftover in a clear soup to give the soup some body and added flavour.  The variation is endless.

Enjoy this quinoa pilaf with cilantro served alongside roasted Meyer lemon chicken and sautéed baby spinach.

quinoa pilaf served as side dish with roasted Meyer chicken & sautéed baby spinach

quinoa pilaf served as side dish with roasted Meyer lemon chicken & sautéed baby spinach

tart cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

tart cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

I found this recipe in my sweet notes yesterday.  I recalled making this once and liked how simple its procedure is, no special equipment required not even a mixer, and it tastes very good.

I decide to make it again to share with dinner guests this evening, also to re-test this recipe and to just have some sweets around for sudden midnight craving.

The original recipe calls for spelt flour which I did not have so used whole wheat pastry instead when I made it the first time.   And I am very excited about using amaranth flour for this bake.

I should mention that I convert the original vegan recipe into non-vegan one by adding an egg and substituting called-for oil with butter.  I don’t usually have yogurt around so liberally use either milk/2 percent Lactaid , sour milk (1 cup of milk:1 Tablespoon of   fresh lemon juice) or this favorite So Delicious® Coconut Milk.

It is supposed to be of dense texture  but the agave nectar and the egg alone transform this into cake-y bites.  Truth is I don’t really know what it would taste like but I like how mine turns out.

It is simple but best ingredients are key here so don’t skimp on any and try this first to see how you like it before substituting other fruits and nuts of your choice.

The combination of macadamia nuts and tart cherries is very good.  The macadamia bits add a nice texture to the bite: it tastes as if it has coconut pieces in it.

And the amaranth flour contributes an intense flavoured batter, a nutty aroma during its bake, and indeed a surprising nutty bite.

This would be  my second time using whole grain flour in sweets.  I think it gives a pleasant nutty taste to the palate so think I’ll try to use more whole grain flour in future recipes.

One last thing, I also reduced the sugar a bit as the original recipe stated that it’s pretty sweet; I used a combination of agave nectar and natural sugar.

Anyhow, here is the recipe and how I make it.

Tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

By Mily| February 20, 2009 – 21:07

Adapted from here

Ingredients (adapted from this recipe):

  • 100 g agave nectar
  • 50 g/1/3 C evaporated cane juice
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g/¼ C butter, melted and cool
  • 1/3 Cup yogurt, milk or coconut milk is a good substitution
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100 g unbleached wheat flour
  • 120 g amaranth flour, whole spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 80 g/½ Cup Macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 80 g/1/2 Cup dried cherries

Equipment: a 7 x 7 inch square or 8-inch round baking pan


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 7 x 7-inch or an 8-inch round baking dish with butter.

2.  Mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt ) together.

3. Chopped the nuts and mix the dried cherries with a little flour mixture to separate them into pieces.

coarsely chopped Macadamia & tart cherries

coarsely chopped Macadamia & tart cherries

4. Mix the egg and sugar until the mixture reaches a light yellow color.  Add the melted butter, yogurt and vanilla extract to the sugar & egg mixture and stir until combined.

mixing wet ingredients

mixing wet ingredients

5.  Sift the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Then fold in almost all the nuts and the cherries in the batter.

the mixed batter with nuts and cherry bits

the mixed batter with nuts and cherry bits

6.  Spread it in the baking dish, sprinkle with the rest of the nut and baked for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

batter in the baking pan

batter in the baking pan

7.  Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then take it out and cool on rack.  Enjoy it warm or at room temperature.

baked tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Round

baked tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Round

The squares had a golden color due to the agave nectar.  It’s quite moist with bursting bits of tart cherry and the richness of macadamia nuts.  Yum!

I must admit I enjoy the square much more at breakfast with a cup of red tea, with or without milk.  I hope you will give this a try and enjoy eating it as much as I do.

tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

Note to Self:  Remember to adjust the leavening agents when baking at 5000 feet or higher.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Back in the first few days of last December I was craving for some sweet-but-not-too-rich bread so I searched around the Internet and found several sweet ideas with citrus & Earl Grey twist.

This bread is based principally on this recipe and inspired by citrus idea of this.  I skipped the spice all together because I don’t like cinnamon but would make the exception for freshly ground nutmeg in some baked goods.  However, no spice needs to be here for I want to see how the Bergamot fragrance of this King of Earl Grey perform even among more citrus juice, pulp and zest of Clementine.

For that time of the year I had a choice between glowing-hue Tangelo or Clementine and I chose the latter simply because it has less pith; but still thought about how that deep reddish orange-y color of  Tangelo would look in the bread.  I would try other citrus such as orange or blood orange when they are in season.

One more thing, I had a large bag of golden raisins with Stollen in mind but was glad to use it here first in rehearsing for more sweets in the coming holidays and to fulfill my yearning for sweet bread.  Not to limit myself there I also had Manuka honey to spread on the slices even before the bread was created.  Talk about intense desire or had I waited a bit too long?  I had all these flavors dancing in my head for a some time while mixing the dough and waiting for its two fermentations. 😉

I was aiming for a fairly wet dough so increased the water a little to get the 72% hydration for the overall dough –that accounted for just the flours, water and starter–.  All other liquid such as agave nectar and citrus juice were to moisten the raisins which no doubt would have absorbed some liquid in the dough to stay moist after being baked.  If you were to make this bread in your kitchen, you’ll need to adjust the liquid and be able to read, touch and feel the dough to get it to the desired state of medium gluten development.

The starter was vigorously strong because I had been religiously feeding it twice a day during the 8 weeks back then since its birth (not a small task because it was dully tedious after a while so it went into cold storage ever since), the hydration seemed okay, the dough was kneaded long enough to reach the required gluten development, the shaping went well, the steam & temperature were properly applied because the crust’s color proudly proved it so… and yet this bread did not have an open crumb, so read further to find out why.

Let’s make this bread and see how it turns out.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough


  • 200 g  vigorous 100%- hydration white starter, refreshed at least 2 times.
  • 500 g unbleached wheat flour (50% bread flour, 50% all-purpose flour)
  • 330 g water
  • 20 g agave nectar
  • 9 g sea salt
  • 150 g Clementine,  blitzed up, skin and all,  in a food processor
  • 1 Tablespoon  Earl Grey Tea (loose leaves)
  • 200 g  sultana (40%) ; I used golden Thompson Seedless raisin

Over all dough hydration is, give or take, about 72%,

How I do it

1. Boil 125 g water,  pour over the tea and leave it to infuse.  Reserve the moistened tea leaves and cool off the [liquid] tea .

2. In a large mixing bowl mix the flours; then add the starter.  Loosen the clinging starter with the rest of the water.

3. Pour this water, the [cool] tea, and the  moistened tea leaves into the mixing bowl.  Mix until hydrated.  Let autolyse for 30 minutes.

4. Add the salt and agave nectar into the dough and knead well in a mixer, about 5 minutes.  Your mixer mileage might vary.

5. Add in the blitzed-up Clementine and continue mixing until the dough reaches medium-gluten development, another 3-5 minutes.

6. First fermentation – Cover the dough with saran wrap and let it proof at room temperature 72° – 75° F, about 3 hours.

7. At the end of the first proofing period, knead the fruit into the dough.

mature starter

mature starter

fold in the sultanas

fold in the sultanas

8. Shape dough into a batard and place it, seam side up, on a floured linen-lined basket or banneton and sprinkle some flour on it.

shaped loaf, seam-side up

shaped loaf, seam-side up

9. Cover it well with saran wrap, put the whole thing in a large plastic bag (white-colored trash bag works really well here) and place it in the fridge overnight.

Note: I wanted to bake the loaf on the same day so left it proof in the oven crack open with the appliance light turn on to get close to room temperature, about 4 hours.

10. The next morning, preheat oven and baking tiles to 475° F  for at least 30 minutes.  Prepare steam.

11. Take the loaf straight out of the fridge, turn it out on an inverted baking sheet lined with parchment paper.   Alternatively, turn it out on a lightly floured peel if you have one.

12. Slash a single cut from one end to the other, holding the blade at about 30 degrees to create a flap over the dough.  This will result in a beautifully open ‘grigne’ and nice ear.

13.  Load the loaf on parchment onto baking tiles; turn the oven down to 450° F, bake with steam for the first 15-18 minutes.

14. Turn down the oven  to 360 ° F, remove the parchment and bake, without steam, for a further 30 minutes.   Halfway through, turn the loaf 180 degrees.

15. Turn off the oven, crack the door open and leave the loaf in for a further 5 minutes.

16.  Cool off completely on rack.  Slice it.  Enjoy.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough 'Grigne'

Loaf, Crust & Crumb

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough Loaf, Crust & Crumb

This post is featured in this week’s Yeast Spotting.

Lesson Learned & Notes to Self:

I could not wait to bake it the next day so skipped the delayed fermentation in the fridge, and prepared the loaf to bake that evening even when it was still quite doughy –not quite expanded & filled with bubbles nor passed the finger test– [first] sigh!

To make the matter worse, when it came to slashing the dough my mind went totally blank as I recalled (that’s what happened when one did not practice bread making for a  period of 365 days or more) and so the utility blade not only went directly straight a perfect 90 degrees onto the dough’s surface but also with quite a deep, about a half-inch, cut –see picture below– [second] sigh!

What to do at this “point of no return” nor avail redemption but to quickly put the loaf in the oven, loaded the steam, shut the oven door closed and hoped for the best.

Start 2 End of 3-hour Proofing

from Start to End of 3-hour Proofing period: not much expansion

The loaf did turn out okay appearance-wise.  I am thankful that the hot steam definitely brought about some sort of oven spring to create that beautiful “grigne” and  deep mahogany color for the crust.

loaf turned out okay with "grigne" but no ear

loaf turned out okay with "grigne" but no ear

Things to remember for the next loaf.  Yes, I’ll make this bread again:

1. This is sourdough then allow the loaf to rise to its fullness no matter how long it would take, well, within reason.  You can wait to bake the next day if need be.  Light & filled with bubbles not doughy loaf before it goes into the oven.

2. Take the time to mentally go over how you’re going to slash the loaf.

3. Hold the blade at an angle 20-25 degrees &  give a determined cut to create a flap-over-the-dough slash;  and don’t be too emotional since it’s only bread!

The bread tastes awesome by the way with a dash of Manuka Honey.  Enjoy!

Manuka Honey on Stupendous Toast

Manuka Honey on Stupendous Toast