Scallops and bugs
  |  First Published: May 2004

THE FOLLOWING delicious recipes – Szechwan scallops and grilled bug tails with herbs – have a luxurious flavour.


This is a stir-fry recipe and doesn’t take long to cook, so it’s an excellent idea to have all your ingredients to hand before you start cooking. For example, combine all of the sauce ingredients, with the exception of the sesame oil, into a bowl and stir well. All you’ll have to do then is to pour the contents of the bowl over the scallops when required rather than add the sauce ingredients individually.

This recipe calls for the use of both light soy sauce and dark soy sauce, and you can find these in the Asian section of most good supermarkets. The light soy sauce is used for flavour and the dark soy sauce mostly for colour (it imparts a little flavour as well).


1 tablespoon good quality cooking oil

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated

2 shallots, finely sliced

500g scallops (roe on, preferably)

Sauce ingredients

Splash of white wine

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons chilli sauce

1 tablespoon tomato passata

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons sesame oil


• Heat the cooking oil in your wok or frypan until very hot. Add the garlic, ginger and shallots to the pan and stir-fry until aromatic. This should only take a few seconds.

• Pop the scallops into the pan and stir-fry for a minute.

• Add the sauce ingredients, with the exception of the sesame oil, to the scallops in the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes, until the scallops are well coated with the sauce. Drizzle the sesame oil over the scallops and continue to stir-fry for a few seconds.

The scallops taste great served with steaming rice or rice noodles.

Grilled Bug Tails with Herbs

I have left the choice of herbs in this recipe up to your tastebuds. I recommend avoiding the stronger tasting ones like rosemary and stick to the gentler flavoured thyme, dill and chives.


2-3 bugs per person

120g butter

1 clove garlic, finely grated

2 tablespoons parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs of your choice


• Clean the bugs and split the tails in half longitudinally. Arrange in a heatproof shallow dish with the tail halves’ cut side facing up.

• Melt the butter, add the garlic and herbs to the butter and drizzle the mixture over the bug tails. You may need to prop the tails up so you don’t lose the butter.

• Preheat your griller and place the shallow dish with the bug tails under the heat. Grill for about five to 10 minutes or until the flesh has turned white. The time will depend on the size of the tails.

• Remove the bug tails from the heat and season with a little freshly ground pepper. Serve with lemon or lime wedges and some paper towels for the fingers.

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