Our favorite easy appetizers? Ones that seem extra fancy, are unexpected, yet took you mere minutes to prep. Well, this scallop Crudo recipe is such an appetizer. Why? Well, first of all, Crudo is a dish you never see outside of a restaurant.
Also, it can seem daunting or even scary to make it yourself. But the truth is so long as you get super fresh seafood and keep everything cold and clean you’re all set.
Sea Scallop Crudo With Jalapeño Citrus And Smashed Avocados
This sea scallop Crudo is inspired by California as it combines some of our favorite local ingredients – citrus, avocado, seafood. Also, it’s a mix of ingredients you see in cuisines, namely, Japanese, Mexican, and Italian, throughout the Golden State.
This is a dish that’s all about balance. The mix of spicy jalapeño, warm ginger, bright citrus, and fruity olive oil are what make it delicious.
We get it – you love ginger and jalapeños and feel like more is better. But that’s not the case with this recipe. Go light on all the ingredients so that the flavor of the seafood really shines through.
Before we dive into this scallop recipe, let’s go over a few keys.
What Is Crudo?
First off, what exactly is crudo? The word crudo (pronounced “crew-dough”) means raw in Spanish and Italian and refers to a category of raw dishes. Usually, crudo is made with some sort of animal protein, say, seafood, fish, or meat.
Crudo is usually raw fish that is thinly sliced and lightly dressed with a combination of olive oil and citrus juice. But there aren’t really any hard set rules as to the shape, size, or exact ingredients.
Since the definition is so broad, it’s widely accepted that carpaccio – thinly sliced raw meat – is a type of crudo.
How Is Crudo Different From Sashimi and Ceviche?
The easiest way to think about it is that sashimi and ceviche have more culinary rules around how they’re made. There are a lot of rules around traditional Japanese sashimi. Everything from how the fish is killed, how it’s sliced, and how it’s served is carefully dictated.
Ceviche is like crudo with way more citrus juice and that extra acid essentially “cooks” the protein. Okay, if you define cooking as the “application of heat to an ingredient” then ceviche is not technically cooked. But people say that ceviche is cooked because the fish sits in the citrus juice for quite a while. That time in the acidic juice alters the texture similar to the way cooking (applying heat) does.
Tips For Making Crudo
Making crudo at home is really fast and easy which is why it’s a pretty perfect appetizer to serve for company. However, there are a few crucial tips you’ll want to follow so that it’s healthy and delicious.
- Keep It Clean: Yes, you should always have clean hands, clean surfaces, and clean equipment when you cook. But that’s even more essential when you’re preparing raw ingredients.
- Buy The Freshest Seafood: Also, go to a reputable seafood source and buy the freshest seafood they have. Let them know that you’re making crudo so they can be sure to give you the best of the best. If that isn’t scallops, no problem! This dish would be delicious with numerous other white seafood like yellowtail, halibut, or even shrimp.
- Keep The Seafood Cold: Try to purchase the seafood the same day that you’re going to use it. And store it wrapped in plastic nested in a bowl on ice to keep it super cold.
- Use A Very Sharp Knife: This is the time to pull out your best sharpest knife because you want to make sure you slice the fish in a way that doesn’t tear it apart too much. Your best bets are a very sharp slicing knife or a sushi knife if you have one on hand.
- Slice In Long Strokes: No matter which knife you use, make sure it’s sharp and then slice with intent. What we mean is to slice in long steady strokes instead of short choppy ones. Again this is to make sure you don’t ruin the fish texture as you prepare it.
- Don’t Go Overboard On Ingredients: The seafood is key in this recipe so don’t overwhelm it. This recipe does have quite a few ingredients but we don’t use too many of any one ingredient because we want the seafood to shine through.
- And Use A Fruity Olive Oil: Speaking of, not only do you want a high-quality extra virgin olive oil but also choose one that is fruity. The reason is that a more green, spicy olive oil will overtake the dish.
- Serve It Immediately: Finally, serve the scallops as soon as you have prepared them. That will not only make for the brightest, freshest flavor but also they’ll keep them nice and cold.
What Wine To Pour With This Crudo
We made this recipe for the “What Grows Together Goes Together” Instagram Live series on California Grown with SommVivant Amanda McCrossin. She paired this dish with a bright, traditionally made California sparkling wine: 2013 Caraccioli Brut Cuvee.
See The Recipe Made Step By Step
Heads up that Aida made this recipe on her IGTV so head there to check it out!
Go stock up on all your cooking essentials then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Scallop Crudo With Jalapeño Citrus Sauce Recipe
For The Avocado Smash:
- 1 medium firm-ripe avocado
halved and pit removed
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 1 medium jalapeño chile
or serrano chile, stemmed, halved, seeded, and minced, divided
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- kosher salt
For The Scallop Crudo:
- 6 large fresh day boat scallops
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1 medium radish
sliced paper thin
- Maldon sea salt or other flaky sea salt, for garnish
- cilantro leaves
Make The Avocado Smash:
- Mash the avocado with garlic, half of the jalapeño, and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice in a small bowl until mixture is mostly smooth; season with salt.
Prepare The Scallop Crudo:
- Place the serving plate in the refrigerator or freezer (if freezer safe) to chill. Using a very sharp knife, slice each scallop into 2 to 3 coins (use a sharp blade and aim for one long, clean stroke).Combine the olive oil, ginger, orange and lime juice, and remaining jalapeño in a medium bowl. Add the scallops and gently toss to combine.
Serve The Scallop Crudo:
- To serve, spread the avocado mixture on serving plates. Scatter the prepared scallop crudo on top then add a pinch of flaky salt, some radish, a few cilantro leaves, and a final drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.