Dressed to impress, this is a delicate plate of scallop sashimi floating in a pool of blush pink ruby grapefruit dressing. Garnished with fennel fronds, finger lime pearls and crunchy tobiko on top, you will love this stunning appetiser.
Why You’ll Love Scallop Sashimi Salad
I am a HUGE fan of scallops. I love ordering them at the restaurant, and we love to cook them at home. More recently, I have been experimenting with raw scallop recipes.
And of course, when I do experiment with different ingredients, I will try to add them to a salad.
So when I received a tub of native finger limes from our friends All Aussie Farmers, it was time to experiment with the two fascinating ingredients together.
Citrus is a natural partner with scallops. Fingers limes, although technically not in the broader citrus family, tastes like lime. Therefore it was a no brainer to try to combine scallops with finger limes.
For left over finger limes, you can’t go past our Cucumber Finger Lime Salad.
I created an elegant Japanese style sashimi salad with fresh scallops on a pool of ruby grapefruit dressing with pops of finger lime pearls and tobiko scattered on top.
The flavours are delicate, zesty and succulent. For seafood lovers, this combination is a definite winner.
I tested this scallop sashimi salad on my family and friends. The result was the same—all happy faces.
Can You Eat Scallops Raw?
Yes, definitely. You can eat scallop raw.
Cooked and raw scallops do have different flavours and texture. Raw scallops have a softer, smoother texture with a sweeter taste compared to cooked scallops.
I find the taste of cooked scallops light but also rich at the same time. Similar to cooked lobster, cooked scallops are firmer and have a succulent texture.
Unlike some other shellfish, there is less fishy taste in scallops but still retains a sweet, briny essence.
How to Serve Raw Scallops?
There are a few different ways to serve raw scallops. Scallop sushi is a popular choice with a butterflied raw scallop served on top of a nugget of sushi rice. Other options include scallop carpaccio and scallop ceviche.
What Is the Difference Between Carpaccio and Ceviche?
Carpaccio originated from Venice, Italy, is a dish of thinly sliced meat or fish dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
It did start with thinly sliced raw beef, but now it includes thinly sliced fish or seafood.
Whilst ceviche is a Latin American dish where raw fish or seafood is cured with fresh citrus juice like lime or lemon. Although the fish is raw, to begin with, it is cooked by the curing process.
I love eating scallops in both carpaccio or ceviche style. The flavours are tantalisingly delicious!
What Is Scallop Sashimi?
Scallop sashimi is also a delicious way to serve raw scallops. Sashimi is a popular Japanese dish where seafood and some meats like beef are served in raw thin slices.
Generally, there are no other accompaniments with sashimi other than a few raw vegetables and soy sauce with wasabi for dipping. The essence of sashimi is to be able to taste the natural freshness of the ocean.
However, increasingly there is a “new style” of sashimi being served, made popular by Nobu founder Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.
He created this inventive way of serving when a customer returned a plate of sashimi to the kitchen as he did not like raw fish.
Nobu’s recipe, new style salmon sashimi, starts with a plate of thinly sliced salmon sashimi and a heated sauce is poured over the fish to essentially “cook” it.
The result is still a delicate plate of partially raw fish but seasoned with a savoury and sweet sauce. This also removes the need for soy sauce for dipping.
Now I see many different variations of the sashimi recipes ranging from thinly sliced raw seafood or meats accompanied with savoury sauces, citrus, spices, aromates, micro herbs and various fragrant oils.
Flavour/Texture: This salad’s overall flavour is a refreshing and zesty combination with a few pops of salty flavours.
Raw scallops provide a softer, silky texture compared to cooked scallops. Together with the pops of tobiko (flying fish roe), they deliver the salad’s salty component.
The ruby grapefruit dressing creates a refreshing lift with sweet, zesty flavours. This is perfect with the finger limes vesicles scattered on top.
Finally, I love adding fennel fronds to the salad as final touch. Fennel fronds not only give splashes of wonderful green, but the aniseed flavour is fantastic with scallops. Fennel fronds have a very similar flavour to the fennel bulb.
Ease: Care is needed in storing and preparing the raw scallops. Other than that, this is not a complicated salad to put together. No cooking is required.
Time: Depending on how you might want to slice scallops, at most will take 25-30 minutes to prep everything.
Ingredients required to make Scallop Sashimi Salad with Finger Lime:
Scallop: For this recipe, I used sashimi grade Japanese Hokkaido scallops. They are known for their plump and firm scallops that is sweet and delicate in flavour.
They are larger than bay scallops hence perfect for slicing into sashimi.
There is no roe attached when you buy Japanese Hokkaido scallops. I find them either fresh at the local fishmonger or frozen at my Japanese / Korean grocery store.
Like any seafood that can be eaten raw, it is important to have the freshest ingredients. Do check with your fishmonger first and ask how to store raw scallop to retain their freshness.
Finger limes: Also known as caviar limes, finger limes have grown in popularity with many fine dining restaurants due to their distinct citrusy flavours and textures.
Although not always easy to find, it is increasingly more readily available for home cooks like us. Look for caviar limes at farmers markets or fine food grocer.
Fingers limes can also be frozen, so you can always freeze them when you do see them available and use them later.
Tobiko: Tobiko is Japanese for flying fish roe. One of my favourite delicacies. They are naturally red-orange in colour and have a mild salty taste. Small in size, ranging from 0.5mm to 0.8mm, but together, tobiko adds a crunchy texture to the dish.
Tobiko is usually sold in a frozen pack at your Japanese/Korean grocery stores.
Fennel fronds: Never throw away fennel fronds! They can be used in salads and dressings, but I hear you can also cook them in tarts, quiches, curries and dips. Sometimes I wish you can buy them separately!
You might ask, what is fennel fronds? They are the top feathery part of the fennel bulb.
The taste is very similar to the fennel bulb. It has aniseed flavours but more delicate due to the wispy texture of the fonds.
After using the fennel bulb for salads or other recipes, retain the top part for future uses.
Ruby grapefruit: I prefer using ruby grapefruit in salads over yellow grapefruit. First for the glorious blush pink colour and secondly, for the sweet-sour flavours.
Ruby grapefruit has a preferred balance between sugar and acidity than the more common yellow grapefruit, known for its tartness.
Variations and Substitutions
No raw food: For those who do not enjoy raw scallop, you can serve this salad with seared scallops. It works perfectly well.
Sear scallops for 1-2 minutes until lightly brown on each side. Remove and let the scallops sit on a paper towel before adding to dressing.
Finger lime substitute: Finger limes are not an ingredient that can be replaced. If you can’t find it, I would omit it entirely. The finger lime vesicles do add a lovely touch, but the recipe will work without as well.
Fennel frond substitute: If you don’t have fennel in the house and not planning to use it in the same week, you can substitute fennel fronds for dill.
Roughly chop 1 tablespoon of dill and add to dressing. Pick a few longer strands of dill and add to salad when plating.
Step by step instructions for how to make Scallop Sashimi Salad with Finger Lime:
How To Cut Scallop Sashimi
If you have bought frozen scallops for this Japanese-inspired salad, remove scallops from the freezer and defrost them ahead of time. They need to be fully defrosted before you can use them.
Pat dry scallops and lay on a clean paper towel.
Using a sharp knife and clean surface, slice each scallop into 3 thin rounds and place them in rows on a plate. If you have smaller scallops, slice into 2 rounds.
Cover the plate of sliced scallops with cling wrap and return to fridge as you prepare the dressing and other ingredients.
Prepare Finger Limes and Tobiko
Cut finger limes in half and squeeze vesicles out from the fruit into a small bowl.
Scoop tobiko into a small bowl, ready for assembly.
How To Prepare Salad Dressing
Slice both ends of ruby grapefruit and place the fruit on its base.
In a downward motion, cut all the peel and as much pith as possible from the ruby grapefruit. Follow the shape of the ruby grapefruit as you do this to not cut too much flesh off.
Hold the peeled ruby grapefruit over a medium sized mixing bowl.
Use a small knife to remove each segment of the ruby grapefruit and place in bowl. By slicing the segments out over a bowl, you catch the ruby grapefruit juices, which we want for the dressing.
After all the segments have been cut out, give the pith a final squeeze over the mixing bowl to catch any juices remaining. Discard the pith.
Finely chop fennel fronds to yield 2 tablespoons. Add to mixing bowl.
Add olive oil, lime juice and a good pinch of salt to the ruby grapefruit mixture.
Using a fork, stir dressing together and at the same time, break up the ruby grapefruit segments.
Keep stirring until well combined, and all segments have been broken up.
Taste and add additional salt if required.
How To Assemble The Salad
Using a large round platter with a raised edge, scoop the ruby grapefruit dressing and fill the plate.
Retrieve sliced raw scallops from the fridge and layer them side by side on top of the ruby grapefruit dressing. Do leave a little gap between each slice.
Scatter finger lime vesicles over the top of the scallops.
Repeat with tobiko.
Finally, pick fennel fronds and gently place them in between and on top of the scallops. You probably only need 1 tablespoon worth. Do not overcrowd with fennel fronds.
Great Main Dishes for This Salad
Sticking to a Japanese themed meal, here are some great main recipes to have with Scallop Sashimi Salad with Finger Lime:
For something light, fresh and healthy, this tuna poke bowl is exactly what you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can prepare everything ahead of time, but plate when ready to serve.
Always check with the fishmonger how long you can keep scallops to eat raw. If I do purchase fresh raw scallops, we usually eat on the day or, at the longest, the next day.
Keep raw scallops in the fridge cold and fresh.
You can prepare in advance dressing and store it in a separate container.
If you are travelling a long distance, I would suggest not to use raw scallops to make this salad and transport. Best to sear them lightly and serve cooked scallops.
When transporting raw seafood, ensure it is secured in a frozen bag and sufficient ice to keep the scallop cold.
Try these fennel salads with the leftover fennel. You can either serve together with Scallop Sashimi or leave for another time during the week.
Prawn and Fennel Salad
Fennel and Courgette Salad
Orange Fennel Salad
Originating from Australia, finger limes are a fruit of a rare rainforest tree that grew in Southeast Queensland and Northern New South Wales. It has been a part of our Australian indigenous communities for thousands of years.
They come in various colours such as yellow, pink, green, purple and even bright red. The inside of the finger lime has pulp that contains juice vesicles that resemble caviar, hence the name caviar limes.
They are tiny pops of pearls that squirts out tangy lime juice when you eat them. Super tart and delicious at the same time.
Every time we have a sushi night, my kids ask for scallop sashimi salad. We love the combination of the zesty ruby grapefruit with the soft raw scallops. Every bite excites the taste buds.
More Salads with Seafood
Scallop Sashimi Salad with Finger Lime
- 300 g scallops
- 3 finger limes
- 2 tbsp tobiko
- 1 tbsp fennel fronds
- 1 ruby grapefruit
- 2 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt, pinch
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- If you have bought frozen Hokkaido scallops, defrost until soft and ready to use. Pat dry scallops and lay on clean paper towel.Using a sharp knife and on a clean surface, slice each scallop into 3 thin rounds and place them in rows on a plate. If you have smaller scallops, slice into 2 rounds. Cover sliced scallops with cling wrap and return to fridge.
- Cut finger limes in half and squeeze vesicles out from the fruit into a small bowl.
- Scoop tobiko into a small bowl ready for assembly.
- Remove peel from ruby grapefruit.Carefully cut along the membranes and slice the ruby grapefruit segments out. Place segments into a mixing bowl.Give the pith a final squeeze over the mixing bowl to catch any juices remaining. Discard the pith.
- Finely chop fennel fronds to yield 2 tablespoons. Add to mixing bowl.
- Add fennel fronds, olive oil, lime juice and a good pinch of salt to ruby grapefruit mixture.
- Stir dressing together and at the same time, break up the ruby grapefruit segments with a fork.
- Keep stirring until well combined and all segments have been broken up.
- Taste and season with salt if required.
- Using a large round platter with a raised edge, scoop the ruby grapefruit dressing and fill the plate.
- Lay scallop sashimi on top of the ruby grapefruit dressing. Leave a little gap between each slice
- Scatter finger lime vesicles over the top of the scallops.
- Repeat with tobiko.
- Pick fennel fronds and scatter in between and on top on scallops.
- Serve immediately.
- If you don’t want to serve raw scallops, you can serve this salad with seared scallops. It works perfectly well.
- Finger limes are not really an ingredient that can be replaced. If you can’t find it, I would omit it completely. The finger lime vesicles do add a lovely touch but the recipe will work without as well.
- If you are not planning to use fennel in the same week, substitute fennel fronds for dill. Roughly chop 1 tablespoon of dill and add to dressing. Pick a few longer strands of dill and add to salad when plating.
- You can prepare everything ahead of time but plate when ready to serve.
- Always check with fishmonger how long you can keep scallops in order to eat raw.
- Keep raw scallops in the fridge cold and fresh.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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