Seashore Flowers

Hamabé no Hana

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    2 dozen

Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

Here a lightly seasoned forcemeat of shrimp and scallops is easily molded into flower shapes before being steamed. Seashore Flowers make a poetically divine appetizer! Serve them alone or in combination with the Batter-Fried Vegetable Bundles or Gift-Wrapped Kelp Rolls.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces carefully rinsed fresh bay or sea scallops
  • 3 ounces shelled, deveined shrimp pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon drained, very finely minced beni shōga (red pickled ginger)
  • soy sauce for dipping (optional)
  • flat-leafed Italian parsley OR mitsuba (trefoil), for garnish (optional)

Method

Rinse the scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Place the scallops and shrimp in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse-process until finely chopped. Add the salt and rice wine, and process until fairly smooth. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the mixture and process until you have a smooth paste.

Lightly oil a heat-proof plate that will fit in your steamer. Wet your hands in cold water and divide the seafood mixture into twenty-four portions. Take each portion and roll it into a compact ball. Flatten the ball between the heels of your hands, then lay it on the oiled plate. Repeat to make two dozen in all. In the center of each circle, place a few bits of minced red ginger. With the blunt end of a toothpick, press these bits lightly into the forcemeat.

Bring the water in the bottom of your steamer to a boil, then adjust the flame so that water simmers steadily and there’s a constant flow of steam throughout the top of the steamer. Steam the Seashore Flowers for 10–12 minutes. They’ll puff up considerably as they steam, but then resume their original proportions when taken from the steamer. Remove them with a spatula and serve warm or at room temperature, with soy sauce if you like. To enhance the floral effect, garnish your serving platter with flat-leafed parsley or trefoil that has been rinsed, then patted dry.