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


Hotate no midorizu-ae / sea scallops with cucumber vinegar dressing

A crisp and juicy summer vegetable is transformed into a fresh and mild green dressing. This cucumber dressing works great with various ingredients -- most typically seafood and vegetables, and less commonly meat. Below is an example with sauteed scallops. The soft, burnt aroma of soy sauce and sesame oil adds an interesting layer to this refreshing little dish.

1/2 of recipe:
84 calories; 11.4 g protein; 1.1 g fat; 6.1 g carbohydrate; 5.8 g net carbs; 128 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 157 mg with regular soy sauce); 20 mg cholesterol; 0.3 g fiber


3 sea scallops (123 g in photo)
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp canola oil (to saute scallops; not in photo)
1/4 tsp sesame oil (to saute scallops; not in photo)

For midorizu cucumber vinegar dressing
1/3-1/2 kyuri Japanese cucumber (58 g in photo)
1 tbsp dashi
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp mirin
1/4 tsp usukuchi shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt


Microwave mirin for 10-15 seconds to let out alcohol.
Mix mirin, dashi, rice vinegar and usukuchi shoyukoji.


Grate cucumber.

Gently squeeze to the point where liquid does not drip constantly (yet cucumber is still moist), and place in a prep bowl.
Pour rice vinegar mixture, and mix well.  


Cut scallops into 3 pieces.


In a frying pan, heat canola and sesame oil, and saute scallops.
If lots of liquid comes out of scallops, discard a portion.

When done, pour soy sauce, and mix to make sure scallops come in contact with soy sauce.


Put scallops in cucumber vinegar dressing, and mix well.
Ready to serve. 

  • The amount of midorizu above is enough for about 5 scallops, if more are desired.
  • Alternatively, scallops can be sauteed whole, plated, and midorizu drizzled over. I cut scallops into a few pieces to make them fit better in small bowls.
  • If usukuchi shoyukoji is not available, use regular shoyukoji or usukuchi soy sauce. Regular soy sauce is OK too, but it would make the dressing a bit darker.
  • Midorizu [lit. green vinegar] is a general term for rice vinegar dressing with grated cucumber. Some sweetener (mirin in the above recipe) and a salty ingredient (usukuchi shoyukoji above) are typically added. A small amount of oil can soften the green taste of cucumber (which is skipped above, as scallops are sauteed).

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