My Miso Scallop Onigiri with Miso Mayo might not be a wholly traditional part of a sushi platter but they certainly make a great addition. They’re crunchy, sweet and bursting with umami. Is there any food that isn’t improved by coating it in panko breadcrumbs and deep frying?!
Whist stuffed balls of sushi rice called onigiri are a traditional form of sushi, deep frying onigiri is not to my knowledge or research in any way traditional sushi. I’m pretty sure authentic sushi chefs would be utterly horrified but I have seen some versions of deep fried sushi hanging around the internet. I’ve not gone so far as to just batter and deep fry a maki roll (I’m northern, not Scottish!), instead I’ve headed down more of an arancini route but with sushi rice and Japanese flavours. Its nice to have another texture on a sushi platter and some variety from my maki and uramaki recipes. Also scallops – yum!
Scallops are actually one of my favourite seafood ingredients although I don’t use them often due to their cost. I recently saw some large fresh scallops on their shell for over £2 each and that was in a supermarket. Worth the money I’m sure but I just don’t have that kind of cash to splash! The last time I came across some on offer, I made my Scallop, Bacon and Balsamic Salad which really showcased the meatyness of the scallops. I have however recently discovered these little Patagonian Scallops in Sainsburys for £3.85 (correct as at 9/9/18) and you only need about half the pack for this recipe. (Similar packs are available in Tesco and probably in other supermarkets). And so these Miso Scallop Balls aren’t a crazy luxury anymore – yay!
Miso is another of my absolute favourite ingredients. I almost always make miso soup to accompany my dumpling dim sum feasts and use it as a broth base when making more traditional versions of my Ramen. I use miso increasingly in salad dressings, marinades and in this case mixed with mayo to create a salty tasty dip or spread. You can buy pots of miso paste in the supermarkets – check the world food aisles or speciality ingredient sections. I now tend to buy a big pot from an asian supermarket and keep it in the fridge to dip into – it keeps excelently for a long time. There are a few varieties of miso available – don’t panic, just consider that the lighter in colour the miso, generally the lighter the flavour – have an experiment and see what you prefer.
500g Cooked Sushi Rice
2 Tbsp Miso Paste
2 Tsp Ginger Paste
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1 Tsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
24 Small Scallops
5 Tbsp Chives
1 Tbsp Flavourless Oil
2 Tbsp Plain Flour
80g Panko Breadcrumbs
Oil for Deep Frying
1 Tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
3 Tbsp Mayonnaise
- I would ideally serve these fresh and hot but they are easily re-heatable in the oven or microwave – the crumb will just be less crisp with the latter.
- You can also more or less put whatever filling you want in the middle – some teriyaki chicken or a cooked garlic king prawn maybe.
- After living for most of my life without a deep fat fryer, one of my housemates brought over a little number like this Tefal Mini Fryer* which I now use a little too often! Also ideal for my Scotch Egg recipe. I’ll likely be getting one when I no longer have use of this one!
- Make sure to have a bowl of cold water handy – use this on your hands to stop the rice sticking to you as you make the balls – trust me, you do not want to skip this step.
Firstly ensure that your 500g Cooked Sushi Rice is prepared and cooled.
Add 1 Tbsp Miso Paste, 1 Tsp Ginger Paste, 1 Tsp Sesame Oil, 1 Tsp Rice Vinegar and 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce to a small bowl and combine.
Using kitchen towel, dry off 24 Small Scallops and add them to the marinade mixture. Leave to marinate for at least 10-15 minutes. They are very small so don’t really require much more.
Meanwhile, flavour the rice by finely chopping 5 Tbsp Chives and adding to the rice with 1 Tsp Ginger Paste. Gently combine the ingredients – you ideally don’t want to turn the rice into mush.
Add 1 Tbsp Flavourless Oil to a pan on a high heat. Add the marinated scallops to the pan and fry on each side for about minute – until a little brown and caramelised on each side. Try not to get too much of the marinade in the pan but don’t worry about some getting in – do be careful however because it will spit.
Remove the scallops from the pan and set aside to cool a little.
Take an amount of rice – about the size of a golf ball (40g if you want to keep them even – not something I usually condone but for cooking time and aesthetic purposes it is helpful) and flatten a little in the palm of your hand.
Add 2 of the scallops and form the rice into a ball around the scallops. Again try to be vaguely gentle – squeezing too hard will turn the rice into a mushy lump.
Set aside on a plate or board and repeat to form the remaining 11 balls.
Add roughly 3 Tbsp Plain Flour to a small bowl. Set aside.
Whisk 2 Eggs in another small bowl.
Mix 80g Panko Breadcrumbs and 1 Tbsp Sea Salt Flakes in a 3rd bowl.
Exactly as with scotch eggs, dip each of the rice balls in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Remember ‘wet-hand/dry-hand’. Stop it.
A single dip of each will suffice. Ideally leave the balls in the fridge for at least half an hour before frying. It won’t really harm to fry them straight away however.
Meanwhile make the miso mayo dipping sauce by mixing 1 Tbsp Miso Paste with 3 Tbsp Mayonnaise.
Heat your frying oil to 180c and fry each of the balls for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. You can do this in as many batches as you need.
Leave the cooked balls to drain on kitchen paper before serving hot with the miso mayo.
What is your favourite scallop dish? Let me know in the comments!
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