I've mentioned before that we are not big fish eaters around here, but I've been trying to rectify that a bit. And that includes shellfish, which, while not as good for you as fish, can still be a pretty good way to get some protein into a plate of pasta or rice. My kids had never tried bay scallops, and I was right when I guessed that they would like their size, texture, and mild flavor. And we love-love-love crunchy bok choy and gummy udon noodles, so this recipe was a sure bet. I doubled it, and we had only a little left over for my lunch the next day. It was delicious:
Udon Noodles with Bay Scallops and Baby Bok Choy
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
½ pound bay scallops, dried on paper towels
1 pound baby bok choy, ends trimmed, roughly chopped
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon mirin
½ teaspoon sugar
2 servings fresh or frozen udon (I had never bought fresh udon before, so I got three 9-ounce packages of Nasoya brand for the 5 of us. We had a lot left over, but I don't think two packages would have been enough.)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12" stainless steel skillet over high heat until just starting to smoke. Season the scallops with kosher salt and pepper and add half of the scallops to the skillet. Cook without moving until well browned on one side, about 45 seconds. Stir and continue cooking until lightly browned on the remaining sides, about 30 seconds longer. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate. Reheat the oil until smoking and repeat with the remaining scallops.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the bok choy and stir well. Stir-fry until bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Pour in the broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, and sugar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low.
Cook the udon according to the directions on the package. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to the skillet. Toss well and cook over medium-high heat until the noodles mostly absorb the sauce, about 30 seconds. Stir in the scallops and cook until barely heated through. Serve immediately.