The other day I met two of my workmates on their way to lunch. I asked them where they were off to.
“We’re going to have Thai at the food court,”
“Have you ever tried the Indian there?” I asked.
“Yes but I’ll never go back there.” One of them told me.
“Why not? Is the food that bad?”I asked.
“No… the food’s okay but the lady there – she is so miserly, she doesn’t make you feel welcome.” He replied.
His companion pitched in “Yes, she doesn’t seem to enjoy what she does. Not like the people in the sandwich place.”
I knew what they were talking about. I’ve eaten in the Indian eatery once but have heard the same comments from other colleagues. The lady is stingy on portions and barely smiles, almost snickers when serving. There are hardly any lunch queues when I walk by.
The sandwich eatery on the other hand, is always packed. The coffee isn’t particularly good, and the sandwiches are by no means gourmet, they are standard sandwiches which you would expect to get from most places. But the servings are huge, in fact, even the most voracious of eaters can only finish half a sandwich! The owner and his wife greet you by name every morning as they start to prepare your coffee even before you ask for a cappuccino with one sugar. They seem genuinely happy to see you and serve you their food. It’s no wonder people keep coming back.
I guess, when we cook with love, it shows.
There have been numerous times in the past that I have prepared an elaborate dinner with five different processes for each dish and numerous fancy ingredients. But I’ve been stressed out and miserable. And, despite the finished product looking pretty enough to picture, each experience has been disappointing to myself and those in my company.
And then the most simple of meals, lovingly prepared have turned out to be amazing triumphs. I’m thinking my Mum’s chicken adobo, my sister’s pasta with tomato sauce, or my other sister’s Greek style roast chicken or maybe… even this Spicy Scallop with Thai Dressing.
This dish is from Chef Nobuyuki Ura of Sushi E. It is a very simple dish to prepare – the hardest part is to find fresh scallops to use.
Sushi E has been one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Sydney ever since my husband introduced this place to me over two years ago. My husband eats here maybe once a fortnight and once in awhile, when I get time for a long lunch, I join him. This dish is one of the regular dishes we order.
It is my husband’s favourite dish… and I made it for him because… well.. you know why don’t you?
- Fresh scallops
- Cherry tomatoes, chopped in half (I used regular, chopped)
- salad sprouts
- Lemon juice
- 300 grams Japanese Mayonnaise
- 20 grams chili garlic sauce (lee kum kee brand), strained
Combine the ingredients above to make the spicy mayonnaise
Thai Style Dressing
- 20 grams sugar
- 15 grams white vinegar
- 15 grams fish sauce
- 40 grams soy sauce
- 10 grams cooking sake
- 5 grams tobanjyan
- 150 grams vegetable oil
- 20 grams sesame oil
Combine the ingredients above to make the Thai style dressing
- Slice the scallops horizontally.
- Blow torch the scallops in a heat proof plate.
- In your serving plate, lay the salad sprouts and then top with the scallops.
- Drizzle with fresh lemon juice.
- Finish with some Thai style dressing
- Garnish with tomatoes