Before I went vegan, I used to go crazy for a perfectly pan-seared sea scallop. Anytime I went out to a restaurant and scallops were on the menu, I need not look any further. My parents always had scallops for me when I would go visit. I was the scallop girl! I “Excuse-itarian’ed” (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau coined this term and I love it!) my way around consuming scallops for quite a while — “They don’t have a face!” was my perfect reasoning. When I connected the dots about the problems with industrial fishing and factory fish farms, I preferred that those little tender fleshy morsels stayed in their cute little shells in the sea and not in my belly. If you haven’t learned about the downside to the seafood industry, you can get a little snapshot about it here, here, and here.
My ever-creative amateur chef (and partner of 6 years) Melissa came up with a brilliant solution to satisfy my scallop cravings — make them out of tofu! After all, it is the seasonings, sauces and marinades that have us so attached to eating flesh anyway. We aren’t like tigers and lions who eat flesh raw, no problemo. Here is her brilliant recipe… my mouth waters just thinking about it!
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 lemon
- 2-4 tablespoons vegan butter (I recommend Earth Balance)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Small cookie cutter or juice glass with a small diameter
- Press the tofu. See Tofu Isn’t Scary for more detailed instructions on pressing tofu.
- Cut thickness of tofu in half.
- Use cookie cutter or juice glass to cut circles out of tofu. Season tofu scallops with the Old Bay and salt and pepper.
- Heat pan with 1 tbsp (approx.) of olive oil on medium/high heat.
- Place tofu scallops in pan, allowing them to get golden brown on each side. Remove from pan and set tofu scallops aside.
- Turn heat to low and melt 2-4 tbsp of vegan butter in the pan. Use more butter if you are making more scallops.
- Squeeze half the lemon into the pan with the melted butter, stir to incorporate. Add dill. Stir and turn heat off.
- Plate tofu scallops and drizzle/spoon lemon dill sauce over scallops. Serve with your favorite veggies and sides. Pictured with a mix of quinoa and kale.
I hope you enjoy this recipe — its one of my favorites! Do you have a favorite vegan-ized recipe?