The key to this dish is finding the highest quality scallops possible. Quick tangent: A buddy of mine used to work as a fishmonger at the farmer’s market in New York City, and he would eat raw scallops at the crack of dawn, insisting that their fresh sweetness would give him more energy than five cups of coffee. The moral of this story is that fresh scallops are delicious when eaten raw.
The coconut marinade in this recipe is subtle, with the saltiness of the soy sauce and fish sauce pairing nicely with the acidity of the lime; the sweetness of the raw scallops will shine in the cool creamy marinade. The radish adds some texture and color, and the chili oil gives the dish just enough heat to make it interesting. —Josh Cohen
Set a large pan over medium heat, and add the coconut milk. Simmer the coconut milk until it reduces to approximately ¼ its original volume, stirring occasionally. When the coconut milk is sufficiently reduced, it will be noticeably thicker than it was when you first added it to the pan. Transfer the reduced coconut milk to a mixing bowl, and place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool.
When the coconut milk is chilled, add the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and mirin. Whisk to combine.
Remove and discard the abductor muscle from each scallop (the small, rectangular side muscle). Rinse the scallops under cold water to remove any sand or grit, then pat them dry. Slice each scallop into thin round slivers, and place the scallop slivers into the coconut milk mixture. Let the scallops marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, and up to an hour.
Slice the radish into very thin rounds using a mandolin or sharp knife. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves. To serve this dish, arrange the slivers of scallops onto a flat plate. Use a slotted spoon to plate the scallops, allowing most of the coconut marinade to drain off through the slotted spoon before bringing the scallops to the plate. There should only be a thin coating of marinade with the scallops on the plate. Nestle the radish rounds in with the scallop slivers, and sprinkle a little Maldon salt on top of the dish, crushing it with your fingers as you sprinkle it. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the dish. Drip a few small drops of chili oil over the plate. Using a fine microplane, garnish with lime zest. Serve and enjoy.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.