by Steve Hetherington, Head Chef of Manta Restaurant
Steve says, “I believe the key to a good seafood dish is a balance of sweet, acid, freshness and texture. The Hervey Bay half-shell scallops are a beautiful fresh Australian product, naturally sweet and taste of the ocean. Using lime juice to cure them gives a lovely creamy texture. The sweetness of the scallop with the acidity of the lime, and a hint of chili and garlic, provide a lovely balance to the dish. The freshly shaved fennel is a fresh contrast to this, and the finger lime provides a really zingy pop and additional texture. I love this dish for summer because it is healthy, light, and fresh, and perfect for a hot summer’s day. It’s all about amazing Australian produce treated with respect.”
1 dozen fresh Hervey Bay half-shell scallops
Juice of 2 limes
1 clove of garlic finely sliced
1/2 long red chili finely sliced
1/2 bulb fennel finely shaved
1 finger lime
Baby coriander to garnish
Rock salt to serve
1. Separate the scallops from the shells. Clean the scallops, making sure you remove the connecting muscle.
2. Wash the shells very well in cold water and place aside for later.
3. Slice the scallops horizontally into 3 or 4 slices. Place in bowl and add the lime juice, sliced chili and garlic.
4. Salt to taste and leave to cure for 3 minutes.
5. Use a mandolin to thinly shave the fennel.
6. Cut the finger lime in half and squeeze out the caviar.
7. To serve, spoon the scallop mixture back into the shells, and garnish with the shaved fennel, baby coriander leaves, and finger lime pearls.
8. Serve in a bowl on a bed of rock salt.