Five-Spice Scallops with Noodles

This recipe comes from my Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Weeknight cookbook. John & I are big fans of scallops & keep saying we're going to start cooking with them. Well, after finding out how much they cost ($13.99/lb), scallops might not be a regular occurrence after all.

Five-Spice Scallops with Noodles
Serves 4

Oranges, 2
Salt & freshly ground pepper
*Fresh Chinese egg noodles, 1/2 lb
Large sea scallops, 1 1/4 lb
Chinese five-spice powder, 2 teaspoons
Peanut or canola oil, 4 tablespoons
Ginger, 1 tablespoon finely chopped
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
Sugar snap peas, 1 1/4 lb
Dry white wine, 1/2 cup
Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
Green (spring) onions, 4, white & pale green parts, chopped

1. Prepare the oranges & noodles
Grate 1 teaspoon zest from the oranges & squeeze 1/2 cup juice, & set both aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the boiling water & cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, according to the package directions. Drain & set aside.

2. Cook the scallops
While the noodles are cooking, sprinkle the scallops on both sides with the five-spice powder & season lightly with salt & pepper. In a large frying pan over high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the scallops in a single layer to the pan & cook until well browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Turn the scallops & cook until well browned on the outside & just opaque in the center, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate.

3. Cook the vegetables
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the same frying pan over high heat. Add the ginger & garlic & stir-fry just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar snap peas & stir-fry just until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Stir in the orange zest & juice, wine, & soy sauce & cook until slightly reduced, 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked noodles & green onions & toss gently to combine. Divide the noodles & snap peas among 4 plates, top with scallops, & serve.

Kim's Notes
Those "fresh Chinese egg noodles" were a mother to find. Trader Joe's didn't have them. Publix didn't have them. Harris Teeter didn't have them. Alas, John's Thai friend Wrench directed us to the K & S Market on Charlotte. John bought some kind of weird shrimp flavored noodles that smelled horrible, but tasted okay.

This dish wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. It needs more fire. It's fairly bland for something called "five-spice." I think we'll try it again with different noodles & more, spicier spices. Suggestions welcome.

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