Spring in the UK takes place in the months of March, April and May. It’s a wonderful time of the year to enjoy eating in-season, as there’s so many yummy vegetables to choose from. When I think of springtime meals, I think of lots of greens, light ingredients that are easy on the stomach, and something with a cool dressing for that amazing hot/cold contrast.
I really wanted to create something that doesn’t require many processed ingredients, but I also wanted this recipe to showcase a great alternative to a much-loved fishy dish. Bacon-wrapped scallops are a classic seafood dish with a twist. Bacon-wrapped food has been popular since at least the Victorians, and now there’s almost nothing that can evade being wrapped in the stuff. There are so many incredible vegan bacon substitutes, but sometimes you can’t beat an old classic – rice paper bacon.
These oyster mushroom scallops are surprisingly convincing! Give the recipe a go to enjoy this winning combination of marinated rice paper bacon wrapped around scrumptious seared oyster mushroom scallops. The bed of polenta and green veggies, along with a cool soy yoghurt dressing make this the ultimate springtime dish!
- 500g of ready-made polenta
- 250g of asparagus
- 100g of frozen peas
- 1 large leek
- 500g of spring greens (or sweetheart cabbage)
- 20g of fresh dill
- 200g king oyster mushrooms (found in Tesco)
- 8 tbspns of soy sauce
- 150ml of water
- 1 lemon
- Rice paper sheets (found in Tesco)
- 3 tbspns agave syrup
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 300g soy yoghurt
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180c. Boil asparagus, peas, leeks & cabbage until slightly softened. Drain and place on a baking tray. Season with a dash of oil, salt, pepper & fresh dill. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Set to one side.
- Remove the stems from the king oyster mushrooms, and chop them into chunky discs to create the ‘scallops’. Score them with a sharp knife to create a diamond effect.
- Create the marinade for the scallops. Combine four tablespoons of soy sauce, 150ml of water and the juice of half a lemon. Bring the marinade to the boil, then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Add the scallops to the cooled pan & leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
- Prepare the rice paper bacon. Pair two sheets of rice paper back-to-back, and gently wet them in a bowl of warm/hot water (it needs to be just cool enough for your hands). This will fuse the rice paper sheets together. When they have loosened up, use scissors to cut the rice paper into chunky strips. These are going to be your ‘bacon rashers’. Make the marinade by mixing four tablespoons of soy sauce, three tablespoons of agave syrup, one teaspoon of paprika and one teaspoon of garlic powder. Dip the rice paper strips into the marinade and place them on a plate. Microwave the plates of rice paper bacon strips. To give them a slightly tougher texture, you can grill them too. Don’t grill for too long because they need to be flexible enough to wrap around the mushroom scallops.
- Remove the oyster mushroom scallops from the marinade. On a high heat, sear them in a frying pan until nicely browned and the some of the liquid has been cooked away. Don’t add oil. If they’re sticking to the pan it’s better to add a splash of water.
- Whip up the soy yoghurt dressing. Mix together 300g of soy yoghurt, with the juice of half a lemon, chopped fresh dill and a crack of salt & pepper.
- Place the block of polenta on a plate & microwave for two and a half minutes. It’ll be scorching when you remove it, so be careful. Slice the polenta into generous chunks.
- Assemble by placing the polenta slices on your dish/bowl/plate, followed by the green vegetables. Gently place the oyster mushroom scallops on top, and wrap each one with the rice paper bacon. Top off with a drizzle of the soy yoghurt dressing.
This dish is absolutely delicious! It looks fancy too – making it the perfect choice for a dinner party where you want to show some real skill.