You’re Gonna Want to Bookmark This One

Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy, a quick and easy meal for weeknights, this is a simple, elegant stir-fry; also perfect for entertaining—just add jasmine rice and a good white wine.


Scallops have a delicate flavor that is complemented by strong seasonings; in this recipe chili bean sauce, ginger, and garlic bring that flavor to life. We made a switch-a-roo with the sea scallops by using the large shrimp we had on hand, and the spices complimented the shellfish perfectly. In fact, we would definitely make this again with shrimp.

The recipe calls for small baby bok choy, which may sound redundant, but baby bok choy can range in length from 3 to 8 inches. The vegetables are stir-fried for only 2 minutes, so you must choose the very small, tender, truly “baby” or dwarf bok choy. If you can’t find the tiny ones, go ahead and use the larger baby bok choy, you’ll just have to stir-fry it a few minutes longer.

About those shrimp. Russ prefers to buy them with their heads on so that he can have the their noggins and shells to make seafood stock sometime in the future. (And now that he has his pressure cooker, he’ll be making a lot more stock, yeah me!) But guess who had the pleasure—or not—of decapitating those little suckers? Since I get home from work earlier than Russ, I usually play the role of sous chef prepping the night’s meal. Decapitization—NOT my most favorite chore, by far…

But we cannot wait to make this dish again!

Many of the prepared ingredients—notice the heads still on the shrimp…


  • 12 oz. medium fresh sea scallops (or large shrimp)
  • 2 Tbs. chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. chili bean sauce
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced ginger
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 small baby bok choy, trimmed and halved length-wise (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions

Stir-frying the split shrimp with minced garlic and ginger.

After the shrimp are removed, the baby bok choy and red pepper get their turn in the wok.

Reintroduce the shrimp or scallops back into the wok with the vegetables.

Directions (substitute shrimp in place of scallops if desired) 

  1. Rinse the scallops under cold water, and set on paper towels. With more paper towels, pat the scallops dry. Cut the scallops (or shrimp) horizontally in half so that all the pieces are about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. In a small bowl combine the broth, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch.
  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 Tbs. of the oil, add the ginger and garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Push the aromatics to the sides of the wok.
  4. Carefully add the scallops and spread them evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the scallops begin to sear. Sprinkle on 1/4 tsp. of the salt and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the scallops are opaque but not cooked through. Transfer the scallops and aromatics to a plate.
  5. Swirl the remaining 1 Tbs. oil into the wok, add the bok choy and bell peppers, sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the bok choy just begins to turn bright green. (We had to stir-fry ours for more like 4 minutes because they weren’t the “baby-baby” size.)
  6. Return the scallops with any juices that have accumulated to the wok. Restir the broth mixture, swirl it into the wok, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the scallops are just cooked. Stir in the scallions.
  7. Serve over jasmine rice.

Recipe by Grace Young


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s