Deep-Fried Seafood Nuggets

Isobé Agé

Easily as addictive as Cajun-style “popcorn,” these bite-size nuggets are made from a mild-tasting fish forcemeat spiced with minced scallion and ginger. The outer wrapping of paper-thin nori makes these nuggets crisp and slightly briny while adding to the nutritional value of this snack or hors d’oeuvre.

Ingredients

  • 3 sheets yaki nori (paper-thin toasted seaweed)
  • 10 ounces bay or sea scallops
  • 8 ounces scrod, pollack, or flounder
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • ½ tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion (green part only)
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • soy sauce for dipping, optional

Method

  1. Cut each sheet of seaweed into quarters. Then cut each small square in half diagonally, to yield twenty-four small triangles. Set these aside while making the forcemeat.
  2. If you are using large sea scallops, cut them in half. Cut the fish into 1-inch pieces. Place the scallops and fish in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse/process to make a rough paste. Add the egg and rice wine, and pulse/ process again to make a smooth paste. Add the ginger and scallion greens, and pulse/process to distribute evenly. Carefully transfer the seafood paste to a bowl.
  3. Place a rounded teaspoon of seafood paste in the center of each triangle of seaweed. Bring the points of the triangle up and stick them to the paste to form a rounded shape.
  4. Heat the oil to about 370 degrees in a deep-fryer or wok. Test with a piece of seaweed: It should sizzle on the surface, turning crisp immediately. Deep-fry the seafood nuggets, about six at a time, for 1 minute. They will puff slightly when frying, and color very lightly. Test with a toothpick if you are unsure; the wooden pick should come out clean, with no fish paste clinging to it.
  5. Serve the seafood nuggets hot, with soy sauce on the side for dipping if you wish.

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