Monday, 15 March 2010

His 'n' hers

K loves scallops. I have caught him drooling over pictures of the juicy shellfish whilst browsing the the internet. So I treated him:

Hotate (scallop) Don
(have you noticed I make a lot of don? Fewer dishes for me to wash!)

12 scallops
1 tablespoon cooking sake
20ml soy sauce
2 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
a pinch of salt
chili powder
some toasted nori (seaweed)

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt, scramble them and set aside. Fry the scallops on both sides in a little oil. Pour over the sake, then put a lid over and allow them to steam cook. Remove the lid and add the butter and soy sauce to the pan, turning the scallops over to coat. Serve the scallops over a bowl of rice, with the scrambled egg, sprinkle with a little chili powder, and garnish with some shredded nori.

Over recent months I've spent so much time trying to cook things that my meat-eating family will enjoy, with very little thought to myself. So I have resolved to at least occasionally cook something that we can all tuck into as a family, and first up is a veggie shepherd's pie :-) As well as being extremely healthy and tasty (this will now be making a regular appearance at our dinner table, there were absolutely no complaints about this dish), it was also very cheap to make!

Veggie Shepherd's Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2 large carrots (500g/1lb 2oz in total), peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
200ml red wine
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 vegetable stock cubes
410g can green lentils
950g sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into chunks
25g butter
85g grated cheese

Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion until golden. Add the carrots and all but a sprinkling of thyme. Pour in the wine, 150ml water and the tomatoes, then sprinkle in the stock cubes and simmer for 10 mins. Tip in the can of lentils, including their juice, then cover and simmer for another 10 mins until the carrots still have a bit of bite and the lentils are pulpy. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes for 15 mins until tender, drain well, then mash with the butter and season to taste. Pile the lentil mixture into a pie dish, spoon the mash on top, then sprinkle over the cheese and remaining thyme. Bake at 190c for 20 mins if cooking straight away, or for 40 mins from chilled, until golden and hot all the way through.


  1. The recipe sounds absolutely fantastic!!! How have you been? When I came to Japan, I never saw scallops with their outer ring, I usually dispose of it, still do and cook it separately, I like it, but I like it better without it.

    I'm the opposite, I like to eat meat but my husband doesn't, so when I cook I try and make enough veggies, it is probably a good thing that I don't eat meat much, but I love it, I think it is hard being a vegan in Japan, don't you?

  2. Oh wow, the veggie Shepherd's Pie looks amazing! I usually make it with soy mince but I'd never thought to try lentils. I have some dried green ones so will definitely be giving this a try.

    (Hello by the way! I hopped over from another blog - hope you don't mind if I pop back again in the future)

  3. Hehe you are so clever making don for less dishes! I like it! Hmmm given both dishes I don't know if I could decide one over another! :P

  4. The veggie pie sounds yummy. DH loves veggies and sweet potatoes, so I will try it soon. A comment above says they use soy mince instead of lentils. Would that be okara, I wonder? Do you think I could substitute kidney or black beans instead of lentils too?

  5. Not okara, it's made from soy flour and is used as a protein source by a lot of veggies. As is it doesn't look too appetizing but once rehydrated and flavoured it works well in a lot of recipes that would normally use minced meat.

    I use it in everything from spaghetti bolognese to Shepherd's pie to gyoza and mabo dofu - luckily my husband doesn't mind the swap too much!

  6. Hi GJ! I'm so sorry, I've mean meaning to e-mail you for a catch-up - I am sooo behind! I agree, the scallops would be better without their skirts, but remember my DH is the King of Ketchi, and to leave them off would be mottainai! xxxh

    Hi Umebossy, thank you for dropping by! Where, oh where do you buy soy mince?! I've never seen it here - is it anything like Quorn mince? I miss Quorn... xxx

    Hi Lorraine,

    Hehe, who needs extra work?! You know how many little dishes are needed for a Japanese meal ;-) xxx

    Hi Janine,

    I hope he likes it! I'm sure you could vary this recipe with beans - I'll be trying that, too. xxx

  7. Sometimes I have dreams that they start to sell Quorn here...and then I wake up and it's almost painful when I realise that it was just a dream!

    I buy the soy mince from Tengu - they're actually out of stock at the moment but they told me that they'll have it back in at the end of March. It's not quite like Quorn mince as it starts out dry and you have to rehydrate it with water or stock and the end texture is a bit different.

    There's another company that sells veg. protein called Vegetus but their stuff is a bit hit or miss. I do like their veggie ramen though!

  8. I made a version of the pie the other day - yum! In the end I didn't do lentils but went for kidney beans, chick peas, carrots, onions and zucchini. Thanks again for the recipe :)

  9. I love the scallop don recipe! Always on the look out for don recipes. Thanks for sharing.