When it comes to finding your next favorite fancy occasion or New Years Eve recipe, this is it!
What are Scallops?
“A scallop? What’s that?” A common question that even seafood fans today still sometimes wonder - whether they’ve eaten one before or not!
In a general sense, a bay “scallop” is a common, general name for the shelled bivalve mollusks we comb for on the beach or see in movies like “The Little Mermaid”. Scallop shells are not smooth like clams, but rather have scalloped ridges.
However, the sea “scallops” we here at Wild For Salmon are so fond of actually refer to what lies within this shelled mollusk. In the seafood cuisine world, a scallop is the interior adductor muscle of the mollusk that we eat. It’s a round, often white (or rare occasions, orange) squishy piece of seafood protein.
What do scallops taste like? Surprisingly to most, scallops are actually sweet in flavor and have a melt in your mouth, buttery texture. Their flavor resembles that of lobster and crab, but with a slightly firmer feel that tastes like a visit to the sea - without being too fishy!
Health-wise, scallops are one of the most beneficial seafoods one can add to their plate. They have a very low fat content, are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are made up of 80% protein - helping curb your appetite while getting you the nutrients you need.
Here at Wild For Salmon, our wild-caught scallops are caught, shucked, cleaned, size-sorted, boxed and rapid-deep-frozen within just 4 hours at sea by our friends at Alaskan Weathervane Seafoods in order to maintain the highest quality. This is a process that allows them to lock in the natural flavors of the scallops all the way from the icy waters of Alaska to your plate!
It is this light, versatile, quality taste and incredible health benefits that makes our wild Alaskan weathervane scallops the perfect option for an elegant appetizer suiting even the fanciest of occasions.
So, when it comes to creating tasteful food ideas for a New Year’s Eve party, what better way than to use this elegant seafood option as an appetizer that goes perfectly with a glass of champagne?
What are canapes?
While known as one of the finer appetizers one can serve at a dinner party or celebration, canapes (originally spelled “canapés” thanks to their French roots) are actually quite simple to put together for your next wedding reception, New Year’s Eve celebration, or even Girls Night In.
Canapes usually start with a piece of bread or toast, roughly cut into a bite-sized piece. That piece of toast is then topped with something savory, usually like cheese, caviar, cream cheese, or a spread of some sort. The last step is often the final touch - a piece of meat, an herb garnish, a type of nut - and voila, you’ve made your canape!
The reason these appetizers work so well for special occasions is all thanks to each piece being an easy, bite sized treat that keeps guests from going hungry while still taking part in the usual gathering activities. With one hand briefly holding a single bite-sized canape, the other is free to shake a hand, hold a drink, or explain a story in great detail.
How to make a scallop canapes recipe
While both scallops and canapes are associated with being high-end and classy, preparing this scallop canapes recipe is actually much simpler than it sounds.
When it comes to cooking scallops, many wonder where to even start. However, this easy scallop canape recipe simply bakes the scallop with two common household ingredients (mayonnaise and sriracha hot sauce), making your life that much easier.
Plus, this Spicy Scallops Canape recipe in particular is great because it’s easy and features not just one but two types of seafood that we love: our wild Alaskan Weathervane scallops and our wild Alaskan Keta Salmon Ikura!
To start, prepare the two sauces you'll need; the eel sauce (a combination of soy sauce, mirin and sugar), and the sriracha mayonnaise sauce.
Next, slice the baguette into ¼ inch thick slices, swash them with a bit of oil and bake them on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, just until they are golden brown.
While these bake, use half of your sriracha mayonnaise to toss your scallops in, then sprinkle with panko bread crumbs. Bake these for 10 minutes as well.
Finish the recipe by topping each baguette slice with a layer of avocado and a baked scallop, then drizzle with the eel sauce and remaining sriracha mayonnaise. Finally, place a small scoop of Ikura and a pinch of microgreens on top. Then, enjoy!
To get this Spicy Scallops Recipe started in your own kitchen, we suggest reading through Chef Marisa’s preparation tips and recipe variations below. With these tips and just 20 minutes of your day, you'll be ready for your next New Years Eve party or celebration in no time!
This vibrant appetizer is sure to impress your guests at any holiday party this season. It looks as elegant as it is delicious and is not all that complicated to prepare. The recipe was designed with the busy host in mind, and all of the day of cooking happens in the oven to minimize stovetop messes and time attending to the stove. Though the eel sauce is made on the stove, it can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge until serving time.
When selecting a baguette, look for one on the slimmer side, which will result in smaller rounds for the base of the canapé. The goal is to find bread that is only slightly larger than the scallops, making them easy to eat in one bite. If you can only find a larger baguette, cut each slice in half before baking.
The sriracha mayonnaise can also be made a day or two in advance. It is helpful to use a small sauce squeeze bottle to drizzle the sriracha mayonnaise over the assembled canapés. They can usually be found in the cake decorating section of the grocery store. If you don’t have a sauce bottle, a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off would work as well.
If you are accommodating guests who follow a gluten-free diet, this recipe is easy to modify. Use thin rice crackers in place of the baguette and skip the oil and baking time. The panko bread crumbs can be replaced with gluten-free bread crumbs or left off completely. Make sure to use gluten-free tamari rather than soy sauce to prepare the eel sauce.
This recipe is mildly spicy and suitable for guests with a variety of tastes. If you prefer to serve a spicier appetizer, increase the sriracha to 3 tablespoons.
[[ recipeID=recipe-8lbwdckqj, title=Spicy Scallop Canapés with Ikura ]]
Marisa Kerkvliet of Lemon Thyme Kitchen is a freelance recipe developer and food photographer with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. She was raised on her family’s farm in Northwest Washington and her appreciation for good food developed at a very early age. She is passionate about creating recipes and beautiful imagery that highlight high-quality seasonal ingredients. Marisa loves all types of seafood, but her favorites are salmon and scallops!