Whether it’s back to school or back into the office, no one wants to be tied to the kitchen this September. The solution is our new Dish on Fish low-carb 30-minute meal: Asian-Style Scallops with Vegetable Noodles!
In just a few minutes on the stovetop, you’ll have luscious scallops, seared to perfection and lightly glazed. You can pre-prep the rest of the dish, making this a delicious last-minute meal you’ll pull out of your back pocket again and again. We love this recipe because it’s easy enough for a weeknight family dinner but also impressive (and pretty!) enough for a Saturday night with friends.
It’s low carb because we swapped out conventional noodles for a colorful mélange of voodles (the “V” is for vegetables … and variety!). This recipe one-ups zoodles (zucchini “noodles”) by introducing some crisp carrot and cucumber curls to the mix. Voodles are a cinch to make at home with a spiralizer or peeler, or look for them pre-cut in the produce aisle and save some prep time. Plus these voodles are dressed to impress: With the addition of red cabbage, cilantro and an addictive soy-hoisin sauce, you’ve got a nutritious slaw like no other!
Scallops boast top-notch nutrition, with about 17 grams of lean protein per 3-ounce serving, as well as impressive amounts of heart-healthy omega-3s and essential nutrients like vitamin B-12, phosphorus and selenium.
To get a restaurant-worthy sear on your scallops, pat them dry so they sizzle (rather than steam) and cook them in small batches to give each one plenty of space. We use sesame oil in this recipe for flavor—but also it has a high smoke point, so you can really bring on the heat!
Sure, this dish is a great way to use up some homegrown bounty when your garden goes into late-summer overdrive, it calls for veggies that are widely available year-round. It makes a light and refreshing meal in the warmer months, displays an eye-catching autumnal palette for fall and provides a welcome, fresh-tasting treat during the winter. It’s truly a recipe for all seasons!
Asian-Style Scallops with Vegetable Noodles
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
For veggie noodles or “voodles”
- 2 large zucchini, washed and ends trimmed (or buy spiralized zucchini)
- 1 large carrot, washed and ends trimmed (or buy spiralized carrot)
- 1 cucumber, washed and ends trimmed (or buy spiralized cucumber)
- ½ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- For Asian-style sauce
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Red pepper flakes, kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
- Crushed peanuts or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1½ pounds large sea scallops (about 16 to 20)
- Pat scallops dry with a paper towel (this is important for the sear); salt and pepper both sides of each scallop, to taste.
- Spiralize zucchini, carrot and cucumber into “noodles” using spiral cutter or vegetable peeler. (Or, purchase already-spiralized veggies and skip this step.) Place spiralized veggies in a large bowl with thinly sliced red cabbage and cilantro; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce and next six ingredients (through cornstarch). Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste; whisk well. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops in small groups, making sure to not overcrowd the pan, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip over and cook 3 to 4 more minutes, until second side is golden brown. Add 3 tablespoons sauce; turn down heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 more minutes, or until scallops are cooked through and opaque in color.
- Add scallops to vegetable noodles bowl and top with sauce; toss to combine until noodles and scallops are coated in sauce. Top with green onions and peanuts or sesame seeds, if desired.
Spiralizer or vegetable peeler, large bowl, small mixing bowl, whisk, skillet, tongs.