"This is straight out of the repertoire of my flagship restaurant, Pollen Street Social. I adore tender raw scallops, and in this recipe their sweetness is accentuated by the lemon and fennel marinade."
12 large scallops, cleaned and roe removed, cut in half horizontally
100ml Yuzu Wasabi Dressing (see page 223), plus extra to drizzle
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Confit Lemon Strips (see page 230), to garnish (optional)
Reserved fennel fronds or dill sprigs, to garnish
125ml muscatel or sherry vinegar
100ml white wine vinegar
100g caster sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 large fennel bulb, preferably with fronds
First, make the pickled fennel. Put everything except the fennel into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir to melt the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and have ready a bowl of iced water. Trim the base of the fennel and reserve the fronds for garnish. Very finely slice the bulb or shave it using a mandolin. Blanch the sliced fennel for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in the iced water. Drain well again and then add the fennel to the pickling liquid. Let the flavours infuse for at least 30 minutes. (If making in advance, put the blanched fennel in a sterilised jar then pour over the pickling liquid, to cover. Seal and keep refrigerated until ready to use.)
Place the scallops in a bowl and pour over the yuzu wasabi dressing then season with a little pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with cling film and let the scallops marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
When ready to serve, place 6 scallop halves on each serving plate. Drizzle over a little wasabi dressing. Top each scallop with a few confit lemon strips and a few slices of pickled fennel then garnish with the reserved fennel fronds or sprigs of dill. Sprinkle over a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper and serve.
Find out more about Jason's culinary career here.
Extract taken from Social Suppers, published by Absolute, £25.00, Hardback
Photography © John Carey