Scallops steamed in their shells with a spicy black bean sauce.
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
1 tbsp fermented salted black beans, washed and crushed into a paste (available from Asian grocers)
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives or spring onions
For the scallops with noodles, soak the dried vermicelli in a bowl of just-boiled water for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then chop into 10cm/4in lengths and set aside.
Place the cleaned scallops back into their shells.
For the black bean sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon a teaspoon of the sauce on top of each scallop and gently rub into the scallop flesh.
Wrap some of the soft vermicelli noodles around each scallop, then spoon one teaspoon of water around the noodles. (This helps to keep the noodles moist and works to create a sauce when combined with the steamed juices of the scallops.)
Divide the scallop shells between two heatproof serving plates and place each plate into a bamboo steamer, placing one steamer on top of the other. Place the steamers over a pan or wok of boiling water (making sure the water does not touch the base of the steamer), cover, and steam over a high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the scallops are cooked through. If you do not have a bamboo steamer, place the shells onto a large heatproof plate set on a rack in a roasting tray. Fill the roasting tray with boiling water from the kettle. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, cover the whole roasting tray with foil and place into the oven to steam for 4-5 minutes.
To serve, serve the scallops in the bamboo steamers, or remove the plates from the steamer and serve on the plates. Sprinkle over the chopped chives or spring onions and serve immediately.
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