For my last post on my Doña Maria Rice series, I thought I’d do something a little special for you guys. Scallops, aka delicious balls of tender and juicy goodness! Whenever you see scallops, you think special occasion or indulgence, but I really think that they’re worth every pretty penny, especially when they’re perfectly cooked. And cooked like this.
Oh boy. Let me tell you, we’ve been eating this once a week for the last couple of weeks and the scallops are always sold out before the end of the meal!
This was inspired by a dish my mother had during her trip to Australia, where she had cheesy scallops on their shells. But to make it even more special we’re going to place an extra layer of Doña Maria Rice at the bottom. It adds a different texture to the dish, complementing the juicy and soft scallop with its sticky, chewy, fluffy presence.
My rice of choice for this particular recipe is the more full-bodied Doña Maria Jasponica White Rice. Combining the wonderful aroma of Jasmine rice and the quality of Japanese rice, Doña Maria Jasponica White Rice is naturally fragrant with a deliciously soft texture.
Of course, you’re free to use Doña Maria’s other white rice variety, which is the Miponica White Rice, or maybe go healthier with the White Plus Brown variety. But I personally think that white rice is more suitable for this recipe, so that you get the full effect of the flavours on the scallops and the cheese. I love how this dish is both dainty and at the same time quite filling thanks to the rice. This will be perfect to serve guests in parties. Fancy too!
This is one of those dishes that is so impressive, tastes so good, but is so incredibly easy to prepare. It’s a little crazy how easy this is actually. It’s not something you would really “go out of your way” to prepare, so to say. You can buy your scallops in the market and have them cleaned by your suki fishmonger, but remember to ask them not to throw away the shells. Of course you have to make these while your scallops are fresh, which you can do easily since there are no special secret techniques involved for these delicious beauties.
Let me walk you through it briefly and you’ll see exactly how easy it is!
To start, just cook your Doña Maria rice like you usually do, but this time flavour it a little by adding some mirin (just like in making sushi!) and mushroom powder (for the umami) right into the water you’ll be using to cook the rice with. Meanwhile you’ll marinade your scallops with a series of flavours you can customize to your liking for about 30 minutes (or as long as it takes for your rice to cook).
And then it’s all just a matter of stacking them up on the shell your scallops originally came with: Cooked rice, then the marinated scallop, and finally quick-melting cheese. Pop in a preheated oven and bake for a mere 5 minutes until cheese is melted and scallops become soft and juicy.
Voila! Doesn’t get easier than that right?
Cheesy Scallop Rice Shells
Yields about 22 scallops
For the rice
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked Doña Maria rice
- 2 cups water, or adjust according to preference
- 1 Tablespoon mirin
- 1 Tablespoon mushroom powder
For the scallop marinade*
- 1 kilogram scallops without shells, cleaned
- 1 teaspoon rice wine
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Pad Thai sauce, store-bought or homemade is fine
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon mushroom powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Shells of the scallops, mine was about 22
- Shredded cheese
Cook the rice
- 1. Cook the Doña Maria rice as you usually would, but before adding the water with the rice, mix in mirin and mushroom powder with the water. Pour into rice cooker and leave to cook for about 30 minutes while preparing the scallops.
Marinade the scallops
- 2. Place scallops in a bowl. Mix all ingredients for the marinade and pour over scallops. Marinade for 30 minutes to an hour.
- 3. About 15 minutes before you're ready to bake your scallops, preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Prepare a baking tray or two.
- 4. Place a heaping tablespoon of cooked Doña Maria rice on top of the scallop shell. Top with a piece of marinated scallop and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat until all scallops have been stacked on their shells.
- 5. Bake scallops for about 5 minutes, until cheese has melted. To check if the scallop is ready, it should feel tender when poked with a fork but firm enough to the touch. Do not overbake or they will turn tough!
- 6. Serve immediately out of the oven while still warm. These scallops are best baked just right before dinner!
I have to admit that I’m kind of salivating over these scallops right now… But before I forget, I wanted to mention that we tried out the Doña Maria Congee Rice variant one evening and I have to say I was so so impressed by how this rice turned out.
It’s literally the best version of congee rice we’ve tried so far. We turned it into a Chicken Congee with all the trimmings, and because the rice does fatten up nicely and mix well with the chicken stock, it turns the congee thick instead of runny.
The thing I hate most about congee is when it’s thin. The rice bits separate and kind of sink to the bottom of the bowl while you have this weird soup on top where the toppings kind of float on their way to no man’s land. Urgh. Might as well have bought an instant congee in a cup! This didn’t happen when we used Doña Maria Congee Rice, so I was pleasantly surprised.
Full disclosure: This post is sponsored by Doña Maria Rice, but all opinions stated above are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep The Tummy Train up and running!