All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Nasu to kobashira no XO-jan itame / eggplant and bay scallops in XO sauce

This popular combination of eggplant and scallops with XO sauce is always a taste treat. Oil-loving eggplant is deep-fried for a pretty dark purple skin color and creamy texture -- but you will be surprised at how “ungreasy” this dish is. Great with drinks, plain steamed rice or Chinese rice porridge.


1 nasu eggplant
1/4+ tsp salt (to sprinkle on eggplant; not in photo)
Handful kobashira bay scallops (90 g in photo)
1 tbsp shokoshu Shaoxing wine
2 tsp egg white
1 tbsp potato starch
2 tsp XO sauce
2 tsp chicken stock or vegetable stock
Cilantro (garnish)
Approx. 100 cc oil (5 mm to 1cm high in a frying pan for deep-frying; not in photo)


Rangiri diagonal cut eggplant.

Place eggplant in a bowl, sprinkle salt, gently rub, and let sit for 10+ minutes.


Pour Shaoxing wine over bay scallops. 
Turn once or twice for even marinating.


Rinse eggplant once or twice, and completely towel dry. 


In a frying pan, heat oil.
The temperature should be pretty high (somewhere around 185 C/365 F; fine bubbles vigorously come up from tips of bamboo chopsticks immersed in oil).

Put eggplant.
When eggplant starts to color, raise heat somewhat. 

Remove from oil while shaking off oil, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.


Meanwhile, prepare bay scallops.
Drain Shaoxing wine, add egg white, mix, transfer to a bowl of potato starch, and mix.


After finishing eggplant, deep-fry bay scallops.
Don’t worry if potato starch coating comes off during deep-frying.

When done, transfer to the paper towel-lined plate.


Drain oil into oil pot, and saute XO sauce (without cleaning the frying pan so as to have enough oil).
When fragrant, add chicken or veggie stock, and stir.

Add eggplant and bay scallops, stir well.


Serve and garnish with cilantro leaves.

  • Salting eggplant is to draw out excess water. This way, less oil is exchanged with the water contained in eggplant while deep-frying, and the result is not greasy.
  • Egg white can be skipped if not available.
  • Shaoxing wine imparts a good flavor to bay scallops that suits eggplant and XO sauce. If not available, you can use sake or very dry wine, or simply skip the alcohol.
  • This dish is great hot or cold.

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