Seafood Pomelo and California Avocado Salad with Scallion Rice Noodles
This seafood pomelo and avocado salad is made with rice noodles, making it a great option for gluten-free customers. In the salad, the noodles are briefly blanched with hot oil and seasoned with a puréed scallion sauce.
10 stalks lemon grass, older leaves removed, crushed
8 in. sliced ginger
21⁄2 tbsp. kosher salt
2⁄3 cup sugar
2⁄3 cup gluten-free fish sauce
1 cup lime or lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 bird’s eye Thai chilies, seeded, minced
1⁄4 cup chiffonade Thai basil
1⁄4 cup chiffonade rau ram, laksa leaves or chopped fennel fronds
3 small pomelo or 6 red grapefruit
3 large California avocados
11⁄2 cups sea scallops
3 tbsp. kosher salt
3 lb. medium to large prawns, peeled, deveined
3⁄4 cup chiffonade mint leaves
101⁄4 oz. dry rice noodles (mai fun)
1 qt. scallions, washed, dried, minced
3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
Crushed dry-roasted peanuts (optional garnish)
1⁄4 cup fried shallots (optional garnish)
Sriracha sauce (optional garnish)
1. For lemon grass court bouillon: Combine lemon grass, ginger, 2½ tbsp. salt and 4 qt. water in large stockpot; simmer for 15 minutes. Strain broth and return to pot over medium heat.
2. For salad marinade: Whisk together sugar, 1/3 cup water, fish sauce and lime or lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add garlic, chilies, Thai basil and rau ram and let stand for 30 minutes. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days.)
3. Meanwhile, cut pomelo into sections without skin or membrane. Place fruit in bowl and set aside. Cut two avocados into ½-in. cubes, add to bowl of citrus. Cut remaining avocado into quarters and slice each quarter into fan shape. Top fan with some of marinade to prevent oxidation. Set fans aside. Add marinade to bowl of pomelo and avocado and toss. Let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Rinse scallops and cut horizontally into approximately ¼-in. thick slices. Poach sliced scallops in lemon grass court bouillon until opaque and barely cooked though the center, about 2½ minutes. Remove scallops from liquid and let rest in single layer.
5. In bowl, combine 3 tbsp. kosher salt and prawns. Knead salt into prawns for 1 minute to “crystal wash,” and provide crunchy texture when cooked. Rinse prawns well and poach in lemon grass court bouillon until prawns turn pink, about 2½ minutes. Remove prawns from liquid and let rest in single layer.
6. When seafood is cool, gently fold mint into poached prawns and scallops. Add more marinade to taste and let stand for additional 5 minutes. Immerse rice noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain well and immediately rinse with cold water. Place on sheet pan to air-dry for 20 minutes. When dry, give noodles good stir.
7. Meanwhile, place scallions in heat-proof bowl. Heat oil to smoking in small pan. Just when oil starts to smoke, carefully pour over scallions. Scallions will spit as oil hits so take care. Stir and add 2 tsp. salt. Once scallions stop sizzling, purée in blender.
8. When noodles are dry and sticky to touch, pour in about one-third of scallion sauce. Set aside to cool at room temperature.
9. For plating, make nest of scallion noodles on right side of each plate. Top with herb leaf or prawn for garnish. On left side, place avocado fan down center. Gently scoop salad into mound on top of fan. Garnish with drizzle of scallion oil. Add optional garnishes to taste.
Recipe by Cal Dining at UC Berkeley/California Avocado Commission