Seafood & spring onion pancake

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This pancake makes a great appetizer, with the silky texture of squid and scallops accompanied by the delicate crunch and piquancy of spring onions. The vegetables and seafood stud the surface of the pancake, which is Sautéed to a golden crisp while leaving the centre light and moist.

Ingredients

  • 90 g/ oz squid
  • 2 oysters
  • 5 clams
  • 5 small prawns (shrimp), shelled
  • 3 scallops, removed from the shell
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 spring onions (scallions), sliced into thin strips
  • ½ red chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • ½ green chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 50 g/2 oz enoki mushrooms, caps removed
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • salt and ground black pepper

For the batter

  • 115 g/4 oz/1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 40 g/½ oz/ cup cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt
  • 5 ml/1 tsp sugar

For the dipping sauce

  • 90 ml/6 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 22.5 ml/ tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), finely shredded
  • 1 red chilli, finely shredded
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 5 ml/1 tsp sesame oil
  • 5 ml/1 tsp sesame seeds

Method

  1. To make the batter, sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the remaining batter ingredients with 200 ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup iced water and whisk lightly until smooth.
  2. Wash the squid carefully, rinsing off any ink that remains on the body. Holding the body firmly, pull away the head and tentacles. If the ink sac is still intact, remove it and discard. Pull out all the innards including the long transparent “pen”. Peel off and discard the thin purple skin on the body, but keep the two small side fins. Slice the head across just under the eyes, severing the tentacles. Discard the rest of the head. Squeeze the tentacles at the head end to push out the round beak in the centre and discard. Rinse the pouch and tentacles well. (Your fishmonger will prepare squid for you, if you prefer.) Chop the squid into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  3. Hold an oyster with the rounded shell up. Push the tip of an oyster knife or short-bladed knife into the hinge of the oyster and twist to prise the shell open. Cut the two muscles inside. Run the blade between the shells to open them. Discard the rounded shell. Cut the oyster away from the flat shell. Add to the bowl. Repeat with the remaining oyster.
  4. Open the clam shells and tip each clam into the bowl. Add the prawns and scallops to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  5. To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  6. Coat a large frying pan with vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Pour one-third of the batter into the pan, ensuring that it is a roughly consistent thickness across the base. Place the spring onions, chillies, mushrooms and garlic on to the pancake and then add the seafood, distributing the ingredients evenly. Pour over the remaining batter and tilt the pan to form an even layer. Sauté, turning when necessary, until the pancake is golden brown on both sides.
  7. Slice the pancake into bitesize pieces and serve on a serving plate with the dipping sauce.

Per portion Energy 255kcal/1077kJ; Protein 16.5g; Carbohydrate 33.7g, of which sugars 1.9g; Fat 7.1g, of which saturates 1.4g; Cholesterol 232mg; Calcium 80mg; Fibre 1.4g; Sodium 613mg.