TasteofThursday welcomes Chef Castro – Seared Qualicum Bay Scallops recipe

Seared Qualicum Bay Scallops Butternut squash risotto, Vanilla curry oil

qualicum bay scallop

Serves: 8 portions


Vanilla curry oil

1 tbsp Shallots’ (chopped)

125 ml vegetable oil

1 1/2 tbsp curry powder

1 vanilla bean

1 lemon (diced)

1/2 grapefruit (diced)


Sauté shallots in 1 tbsp of oil over low heat, add curry powder and continue cooking on low heat, add another tbsp of oil if needed. Cook curry for at least 4 minutes to tone down some of the raw (powdery) flavour of the curry. Slice the vanilla bean in half then scrape the seeds into the curry mixture. Add the remaining oil and simmer for 2 more minutes. Take the pan off the heat to cool, set aside until cool


Add diced citrus to curry oil



2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 onion (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

250g Arborio Rice

200 ml white wine

Sprigs of thyme

1bay leaf (fresh if possible)

salt & pepper to taste

1 litre shellfish stock or chicken stock or vegetable stock

¼ medium butternut squash (diced)

To taste Parmesan cheese

16 scallops


Place a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp butter and oil in the pan

Sauté onions & garlic for 1 minute, add rice making sure it’s well coated with melted fat, add thyme, bay leaf, then season with salt & pepper


Deglaze with wine and reduce until all the wine has evaporated


Add enough stock to cover rice and keep stirring to bring out starch.  Lower the heat, as the rice is cooking it will absorb all the stock,  you will need to add more stock and continue to stir during the cooking  process.


It will take the risotto 15 -20 minutes to par cook.  Once the rice has softened but still crunchy, take off the heat and spread on a baking tray to cool, this can be done ahead of time.


If you want to cook the rice from beginning to end, it will take about 25 minutes. The finished product should have a slight crunch and risotto should be loose and not clumpy.


After 20 minutes add the diced butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes, continue to stir. Add the remaining butter and finish with parmesan cheese


If the scallop hasn’t been cleaned, remove the mussel from each scallop. Season scallops with salt & pepper


On medium high heat, place the  scallops in a sauté pan for one minute on each side, place the pan in the oven for 2 minutes. When the scallops come out the oven, add a few tablespoons of  vanilla curry oil, butter & lemon juice.


Serve risotto in a bowl, top with scallops and garnish with some more of the vanilla curry oil.

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