Shrimps, clams, and fish are the most common seafood that is fresh and in abundance in the morning and afternoon markets (I will get into what the morning and afternoon markets and what is sold there in another post) in Taiwan. Scallops and mussels are not as common, and the ones that I found were sold packaged frozen. I bought a bag of already cooked frozen mussels and uncooked scallops for the purpose of using them in my paella dishes. And to be honest the quality was not good, at least from the particular vendor we bought it from at the Jianguo Morning Market one of the oldest markets in Taichung and by far the cheapest we have shopped from.
Bought some imported risotto rice and thought I could try to highlight the drab scallops and make parmesan cheese risotto with pan seared scallops. Was happy with the risotto but even pan searing the scallops in olive oil couldn’t bring it to life.
Making the risotto was not as complicated as I thought it would be. Whenever I cook a dish I enjoy to eat for the first time, I do a lot of research online by reading recipes and viewing cooking videos on YouTube. It’s great for learning the basics and then where it gets fun is when you adjust it for the tastes you like it or experiment substituting or adding other ingredients. Used fresh chicken stock which I just began to make my own different stocks (chicken and seafood). I freeze the stocks and have them available whenever I need it for certain recipes like this.
Used fresh Pecorino Romano bought from Costco (Costco in Taiwan? Yes another post I will into about commercial brand here) and shaved it into the risotto with this new toy I just bought the other day. A cheese grater plane stick that makes topping off any dish efficiently.
I will definitely try this dish again if I can find fresh scallops. But for now I can try it again with shrimp with the risotto leftovers i had. Don’t waste any carmelized brown stickiness that remains on your pan from searing. Conserve your energy dishwashing scrubbing it and deglaze it as you want the savory taste that the caramelization gives. I deglazed the pan that I seared the scallops in with white wine , then drained the drippings back into the leftover risotto for another day….