Chinese Steamed Scallops and a Secret I Never Thought I’d Tell

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Over the last two years of filming a food show in different restaurants, there’s one question I always ask chefs: “Do you have any scallop dishes?”

I’m sure people think I’m a big fan of scallops. That much is true, but it isn’t the real reason. I’ll tell you why in a moment. But first, some nutritional information about scallops.

They’re good for dieting. Eating 3 ounces of steamed scallops give you 18 grams of protein and they’re about 100 calories. Protein makes you feel fuller and your body needs it to maintain muscle mass. It also gives you 1.8 micrograms of vitamins B12, 18.4 micrograms of selenium, and 1.3 milligrams of zinc.

In addition to lean protein, vitamins and minerals, scallops also give you small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Since I am planning a series on healthy dieting recipes, I recently went to visit Zizhao Luo, the executive chef at Radiance, and consulted with him on his secret recipe for steamed scallops.

Luo is my cooking instructor. He’s Cantonese, in his late 40s, with an affectionate smile that always makes you feel at ease. In his 30-year career, he has won numerous awards and carries many burn marks on his arms.

We went to a local Chinese supermarket for ingredients. While he was driving, he raised his left eyebrow and asked me whether I liked to cook fresh live scallops or processed frozen scallops. He explained that fresh live scallops are the best and the frozen ones probably wouldn’t meet my taste standards.
At the supermarket, he showed me the live scallops. I thought they were rather cute, with their fan-like shells elegantly presenting themselves on ice. I really didn’t want to end their lives just yet. So I chose the frozen scallops instead.

On the bright side, the frozen scallops are easier to clean. So here I present you with a super healthy Chinese steamed scallops recipe.

It makes for succulent scallops with a delicate, mild, sweet flavor. You can also taste a burst of flavors from the ginger, scallion, and garlic. I loved it.

So you may be wondering, why for two years did I always ask for scallop dishes? It wasn’t for dieting. I actually had braces on for two years, and although it’s all worth it now, it was truly torture.

When I had braces, I couldn’t bite on anything hard or chewy. That’s why you almost never saw me eating beef or vegetables for two years on television. And I thought that was a secret that I’d never tell …

Happy cooking and eating.

Chinese Steamed Scallops

Chinese Steamed Scallops
Makes 1 serving
6 scallops
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon scallion, minced
1 tablespoon red bell pepper, minced
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Marinate soy sauce with half the ginger and scallion and put aside.
  2. Place scallops on a plate, and add garlic, ginger, and scallion on top of each scallop.
  3. Add 3 cups of water in a skillet, and put a steamer rack inside. When the water is boiling, put the plate of scallops on the rack and steam for 5 minutes until the scallops turn opaque.
  4. Take the plate off and drop soy sauce on the side. Add additional garlic, ginger, scallion, and red bell pepper.
  5. In a separate pan, heat up the oil, and drizzle on each scallop for additional flavor and aroma.

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