Steamed Scallops with Chilli and Ginger

Fresh scallops are sweet and rich. Perhaps the best way to preserve their qualities is the Chinese technique of steaming. Using hot, wet vapours, this method brings out the succulent texture of scallops without overcooking them. Their briny seafood taste is emphasized, and the bonus is that they are very simple to prepare and take literally minutes to cook. This dish is ideal for a quick and easy, as well as a healthy, meal and I think it makes an ideal opener for any dinner party.


  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh scallops, including the corals
  • 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions


Place the scallops evenly on a heatproof platter. Then evenly distribute the chillies, ginger, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, soy sauce, salt, pepper and spring onions on top.

Next set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok or deep pan and fill it with 5 cm (2 in) of water. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Carefully lower the platter of scallops into the steamer or on to the rack. Turn the heat to low and cover the wok or pan tightly. Steam gently for 5 minutes. Remove and serve at once.