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Seafood Recipes

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Deep-Fried Crab Balls W/Jicama-Pepper

1 yellow bell pepper; julienned
2 cup jicama ( a root vegetable, available in mexican markets or large food stores); julienned
1 cup yellow onion; sliced thin
1 jalapeno; finely chopped
4 limes
1 orange
1 salt to taste
----CRAB BALLS----
1/2 lb capellini (thin pasta); cooked al dente
1 lb crab meat; picked over
3 scallion; finely chopped
4 eggs; lightly beaten
3/4 cup parmesan cheese; freshly grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cayenne to taste
1 oil for deep frying
1 avocado; sliced
1 cilantro

Make the panache the day before serving. Mix the pepper, jicama, onions, and chili in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from the limes and orange and pour over the vegetables. Toss with alittle salt and allow to marinate overnight, stirring occasionally. To make the crab balls, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Toss with your hands, breaking up the pasta slightly and making sure the ingredients are well mixed. Form into 35 balls about the size of a walnut and fry in 350°F fat until golden brown. To serve, place 4 to 6 crab alls on each plate with some of the panache next to them. Garnish with 2 avacado slices and a few sprigs of cilantro. Note: The crab mixture can be made the day before serving and kept refrigerated, tightly covered with plastic wrap. If the balls are fried in advance, or if there are leftovers, reheat them in a 400°F oven for a few minutes to crisp.

Saigonnais Scallop Seviche

3 lb bay or small scallops
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
3 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (nuoc mam)
6 tablespoon sugar
3 oz fresh rau ram (an aromatic leaf); sliced hair-thin
3 oz fresh basil; sliced hair-thin
3 tablespoon fresh ginger; sliced hair-thin
1/3 cup ground unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 oil for deep frying
1/4 lb prawn crackers
1 lettuce leaves

Place scallops in a non-corrosive bowl and marinate in lemon juice for 1/2 hour. Drain scallops in a strainer over a bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hrs. Dry completely with paper towels.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet, add shallots and saute' until browned. Blend fish sauce with sugar until sugar completely dissolves. Pour over scallops and add rau ram, basil, ginger, peanuts, chili paste and fried shallots. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat oil in a saucepan, add prawn crackers, one or two at a time, and fry until puffed, about 10 sec. Line a serving dish with lettuce leaves and pour scallops over the top. Arrange fried prawn crackers around edges. Yield: 6 servings
This recipe is attributed to Chef-owner Tin Quan of the Saigonnais restaurant in Washington's Adams-Morgan multi-ethnic enclave.

Shrimp Custard

1/4 lb shelled,cooked tiny shrimp
1 cup nonfat milk
2 large eggs
4 teaspoon dry sherry
2 tablespoon fish sauce*
2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove,minced/pressed
1/4 teaspoon oriental sesame oil (opt)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seed

* - NAM PLA NUOC MAM, LEE KUM KEE, or soy sauce..

1. In each of 4 custard cup or bowls (3/4 cup size), place 1/4 of the shrimp. Set cups in a large baking pan at least 2" deep.
2. In a bowl, combine milk, eggs, sherry, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, ginger, garlic, oil, and pepper; beat lightly just to blend. Pour 1/4 of the mixture into each cup.
3. Set pan on center rack of a 325'F. oven. Pour boiling water onto pan around cups to level of custard. Bake until custard jiggles only slightly when gently shaken, 25-35 minutes. Lift cups from pan. Let stand at least 10 minutes. If made ahead, let cool, then cover and chill up to a day.
4. Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a 6-8" frying pan over medium-low heat, shaking pan often until seed is golden, about 8 minutes; remove from pan and set aside. Just before serving, garnish custards with sesame seed. Offer warm or cold, with fish sauce to add to taste.

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