Friday, October 12, 2012

Spicy Seafood Dynamite

You've probably enjoyed some sort of dynamite at your favorite Japanese restaurant. If you don't know what I'm talking about then you are really missing out on one of life's most tasty culinary offerings. There are a lot of different variations seen in dishes like, baked mussels, crab dynamite rolls, baked crab hand rolls, and scallops dynamite. "Dynamite" basically involves some sort of seafood being baked or broiled in a mayo-based mixture until it's pure heaven on a plate.

My version utilizes dungeness crab, Oregon bay shrimp, and bay scallops. I toss them all together in spicy mayo and pile the mixture into a scallop shell before broiling it to perfection. The dish is finished with a sprinkle of scallions and toasted sesame seeds and then served with crispy wonton chips for scooping. This little appetizer is super simple and impressively delicious.

Before I get into the recipe, let's discuss mayonnaise. Most dynamite recipes call for kewpie mayo which is Japanese mayo (the one in the squeeze bottle with the creepy doll on front) that is difference from say, Best Foods/Hellman's in that it is made with egg yolks versus whole eggs, and contains a little bit of MSG, and a blend of cider and malt vinegar. You are more than welcome to use Kewpie if you prefer it but I just went with regular Best Foods mayo as it was what I had on hand. I doctored it up with a bit of sugar and rice vinegar to create that "kewpie" taste.

Spicy Seafood Dynamite
Serves 4 

3/4 cup mayo
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sriracha (or more if you like it real spicy)
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
1/8 tsp sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil)
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 oz Dungeness Crab
4 oz Bay Scallops
4 oz Oregon Bay Shrimp
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 pack wonton wrappers

1. Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, sriracha, sesame oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Next, heat a couple inches of canola oil in a deep-edged pan on your stove top until it reaches about 325 degrees. Carefully fry wonton wrappers until golden and crunchy. Rest on paper towels.

3. Prep your seafood. Rinse the scallops and remove the little side-muscle - this is not 100% necessary on bay scallops, but I do it as the muscle is a little tough and I prefer to remove them. They are tiny white tags you will see on the sides of each scallops. Just pinch them off with your fingers. Next, rinse the shrimp and pat those dry. Last, place the crab in a kitchen towel and squeeze out all of the excess moisture. Once the crab is completely dry, place it aside.
4. Turn your oven broiler on and place your oven rack two levels from the top.  Next, line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Bonus points if you have scallop shells to bake the dynamite in (gorgeous presentation!) but if not,  little oven-safe ramekins or dishes will work just as well. Line four of them up on the sheet tray.

5. Toss your seafood mixture with three-quarters of your dynamite sauce and spoon it evenly into each shell or dish. Top with remaining dynamite sauce and place in oven.

6. Watch closely over about 5-7 minutes and as soon as they are bubbling with starting to turn golden brown on top, they are done, so pull them out!
7. Garnish each dynamite with a sprinkle of scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately with wonton chips. Enjoy!! 

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