Scallops with sugna and caper breadcrumbs


  • Serves 8 people

  • 24 Hervey Bay scallops, on the half shell
  • To serve: lemon wedges
  • Sugna
  • 250 gm pork back fat, diced into 2cm pieces (see note)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Caper breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 75 gm sourdough bread, crust removed, coarsely torn
  • ½ tbsp small capers in brine, rinsed
  • ¼ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
01   For sugna, combine pork back fat and 100ml water in a saucepan over high heat, cook until fat begins to sizzle (4-6 minutes), then reduce heat to low and cook until fat renders (45 minutes-1 hour). Carefully strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin into a heatproof container, cool to room temperature, refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Dry-roast fennel seeds until fragrant (30 seconds-1 minute). Coarsely crush in a mortar and pestle, then process in a small food processor with pork back fat, chilli and 1 tsp sea salt flakes until shiny and fluffy (1-2 minutes), refrigerate until required.
02   For caper breadcrumbs, heat oil in a frying pan over low heat, add bread and capers, stir occasionally until golden and toasted (2-3 minutes), cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor, pulse with parsley and lemon rind to combine, then set aside.
03   Preheat oven to 200C. Place scallops on a large oven tray, top each with 1 tbsp sugna (remainder will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week), scatter with caper breadcrumbs, season to taste with freshly ground pepper and roast until just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Note Pork back fat is available from select butchers. You’ll need to order it in advance.

This recipe is from the October 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







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