This simple and light mix of seafood is bathed in an aromatic broth infused with healing and refreshing ginger. It’s a light meal in the summer, or a warming pick-me-up in the colder months. You may use whatever seafood is freshest. When lobster and scallops are not readily available, we do it with just shrimp, and it’s equally satisfying. In fact, the kitchen elves can sometimes be heard slurping up the extra broth!
8 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tail intact
4 dry sea scallops, sliced in half horizontally (see chef’s note)
1 pound lobster meat or crab meat, cooked and cooled
4 cups seafood stock or fish fumée
2-ounce package cellophane noodles
8 fresh long cilantro sprigs, washed, dried, and stems and leaves reserved separately
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled sliced thin, and julienned
2 radishes, sliced thin, then cross cut into 1/8” dice
½ red bell pepper, finely diced in 1/8” dice
2 scallions, sliced thin
6 shitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
[Chef’s Note: “Dry scallops” are natural scallops that are not treated with tripolyphosphate, a preservative which makes them take on extra water to appear more plump. Once cooked, treated scallops lose their extra water and shrivel up, and take on a strange shape and texture. You want to always patronize fishmongers who sell dry scallops with no additives.]
Large soup pot
Fine mesh sieve or chinois
Soak the cellophane noodles in very warm water for about 10 minutes, then drain in a colander.
Butterfly each shrimp by cutting almost completely through lengthwise along outside curve and remove the vein. Leave the tail intact.
Heat the fish stock, reserved cilantro stems and ginger in a large sauce pot over medium high heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes to release the aromatic qualities of the ginger.
Heat wide shallow soup bowls. Place a small mound of cellophane noodles in each, along with a small amount each of the radishes, red peppers, scallions and shitakes. You may either put them all together, or place each vegetable in a separate area of the bowl.
Season the shrimp and the halved scallops with salt and pepper and add to the gently simmering broth. Do not boil. The shrimp and scallops should be just opaque after 2-3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and scallops with a slotted spoon and arrange in the soup bowls in an artful pattern. Place the lobster or crab meat in the broth for 15-20 seconds, until just heated through, then remove with a slotted spoon and place alongside the other ingredients in the bowls. We prefer to arrange any claw meat on top and center for an elegant presentation. Add lime juice to the broth, then strain it through a sieve and pour a little into each soup bowl, covering the vegetable and seafood mixture. Garnish with the remaining cilantro leaves.
Recipe by Mark Tafoya