My husband, daughter and I went to Louisville, Ky., this past weekend for a Tupelo High School Cross Country meet. Daughter Mary made the trip on the Golden Wave bus and ate all her meals with the team, leaving Charlie and me to our own devices.
Charlie had done some research on restaurants in Louisville before we left Tupelo and had determined there was a cool area called Bardstown filled with one-of-a-kind eateries.
As it turned out, we passed a P.F.Chang’s China Bistro on the way to our hotel and knew instantly that’s where we’d be dining. We probably should have eaten locally, but we have a soft spot for the Asian chain that’s located in larger cities.
From lettuce wraps to chicken in black bean sauce to citrus soy salmon, we’ve never had a bad meal in one of these restaurants. My kids live to eat at P.F. Chang’s.
On Saturday evening, Charlie and I enjoyed the lettuce wraps and while I ordered the Moo Shu Chicken, he had the Lemon Scallops.
The scallops were fabulous, possibly my new favorite menu item. When I got home, I scoured the Internet to see if anyone had posted a recipe. I found one that got several positive reviews and if it’s not the real thing, it’s pretty darn close.
1 pound medium sea scallops
Potato starch or cornstarch
2 large lemons, divided
2⁄3 cup water
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 green onions
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄2 cup cold water
White or brown rice
Heat the sesame oil in a wok or pan to 180 degrees. Dip the scallops in egg and roll in the potato starch or cornstarch until covered. Drop scallops into the oil and fry until slightly brown. Drain and keep warm.
For the sauce, juice 1 and a half lemons, straining for seeds, into a saucepan. Cut the other half into quarters and slice one quarter into very thin slices and add to the juice. Stir in the water, sugar and garlic, and turn on medium heat. Slice the green onions thinly for the white part and larger for the green part, and toss into the mix. Turn up the heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts boiling. Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in 1⁄2 cup cold water and pour into the boiling sauce. Stirring, bring it back to a boil. If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, repeat the cornstarch and cold water, adding a little and allowing it to boil until it reaches the right consistency. Don’t allow the mixture to sit without stirring, as it will burn. Once it’s thickened, add the scallops and stir until they’re covered in the sauce. Remove it from the heat and serve with white or brown rice.
Serves 2 to 3.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.
Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal