“Scallops in Scotland are incredibly juicy and plump so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to cook with them. I have kept the roe on, as I really like its flavour and colour, but you can discard it if you wish. Combining whisky with soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli may seem a little strange, but the flavours work really well together.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (13 votes)


  • 200 g glass noodles
  • 80 ml Scottish whisky
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp chilli oil
  • 16 large scallops, in the half shell, roe left on
  • garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 5 cm piece ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • 500 g rock salt
  • shallots (spring onions), finely shredded on the diagonal, soaked in iced water
  • long fresh red chillies, halved, seeded and cut into fine julienne
  • 125 ml (½ cup) peanut oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 20 minutes

Soak the glass noodles in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain well, then using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles into 3 cm lengths and set aside.

Place the whisky, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli oil in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Fill a wok one-third full of water and bring to a rapid boil. Place a small handful of chopped glass noodles under each scallop, then top the scallops with a little garlic and ginger. Place as many scallops as will fit comfortably in a single layer in the top of a large bamboo steamer basket. Pour 1 tablespoon of the whisky mixture over the top. Place on the wok, cover with the lid and steam for 4 minutes or until just warmed through (or 2 minutes if your scallops are much smaller).

Meanwhile, make small mounds of rock salt on a serving platter – this will keep the scallops steady and level in their shells. Remove the scallops from the steamer and place the next batch on to steam. Place the steamed scallops on the rock salt mounds and top with a little spring onion and sliced chilli.

When all the scallops are steamed and topped with spring onion and chili, place the peanut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until smoking hot. Carefully spoon a little hot oil over the spring onion and chilli- this will quickly scold the spring onion, releasing more flavour into the scallops and giving a nice shine to the dish. Serve immediately.


Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom starts Thursday 14 May 2015 at 8pm on SBS ONE and finishes 2 July 2015. Visit the Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out moreabout the show.