I love hosting intimate cocktail parties and serving hors d’oeuvres. Aside from the usual cheese platter, I have created my signature appetizers: Wasabi Prawns and Jumbo Seared Scallops with Pine Nuts. These two dishes are the highlights of my grazing table. For me, food should not only taste good; it should also look appetizing. Whether you’re serving simple or complicated dishes, the presentation can be a deal-breaker.
Unique garnishing and plating should always be considered since everyone loves to take photos before they indulge in the yumminess. Well-plated food and interesting table styling will always give your dishes that wow factor.
1 kg jumbo prawns (approximately 8-9 pcs)
2 egg whites
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp Knorr liquid seasoning
¼ c Japanese mayonnaise
1 Tbsp wasabi paste
1 Tbsp fresh dill (chopped)
1 tsp honey
½ c starch
Oil (for deep frying)
Wanton wrapper (1 per prawn)
Green onion or cilantro for garnishing
Wash prawns, remove heads and shells, and devein.
Marinate prawns in a mixture of salt, pepper, sesame oil and Knorr seasoning. Stir and chill in refrigerator for two hours.
Mix Japanese mayonnaise, olive oil, wasabi, honey and fresh dill. Set aside and chill.
Deep fry wanton wrappers. Place on paper towel to drain oil. Set aside.
Dip each prawn in egg white and roll in starch.
Heat oil and deep fry until cooked.
To serve:Place a piece of prawn on top on a wonton wrapper.
Scoop Japanese mayonnaise with wasabi dressing and place on top of the prawn.
Garnish with spring onions or cilantro.
Seared Jumbo Scallops with Roasted Pine Nuts
1 kg fresh scallops
Freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp mirin
Lettuce and pine nuts for garnishing
Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt and pepper on scallops.
Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Melt butter and olive oil when skillet is hot enough.
Place scallops on pan with enough space in between each piece. Flip scallops once after 2 to 3 minutes and cook until a golden brown crust forms.
After flipping the scallops, add mirin and baste with butter. Remove from pan
To serve:Place a small piece of lettuce on your appetizer spoon.
Take cooled scallop and put on top of lettuce.
Garnish with roasted pine nuts.
Serve with chilled champagne or your favorite cocktail.
The author is a homemaker and socialite who shows her love for husband Victor and children Adrienne, Mark and Michael through her food.
Her kids created the Instagram @Cocina_Ley to document her quarantine cooking.
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