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Tacos with Sea Scallops and Jicama-Peanut Slaw

This dish is a departure from classic Mexican tacos and is inspired by a chef of modern Mexican cooking, Enrique Olvera. The salsa component of this recipe is called “pico de piñata” because many of the ingredients—the clementines, jicama, and peanuts—are traditionally stuffed whole inside a piñata. Olvera serves this pico with foie gras at his Mexico City restaurant, Pujol.–Shelley Wiseman

LC Adapted From... Note

Two little words that we find can make a world of difference are “adapted from.” See, this recipe, while entirely worthy as it’s published in the cookbook, gets a little extra enticing, at least to us, when we add a squeeze of lime—a necessary component of any taco, yes? So we took the liberty of tweaking the recipe to include lime as an option. Try it, if you please, and let us know.

Tacos with Sea Scallops and Jicama-Peanut Slaw Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the pico de piñata (jicama and peanut slaw)
  • 1 cup diced jicama (1/4-inch pieces)
  • 2 large clementines or 1 navel orange, peeled and diced (1 cup)
  • Juice of 1 large clementine or 1/2 navel orange
  • Juice of 1 lime (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 habanero chile, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped chicharrones (fried pork rinds; optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, salted, roasted peanuts
  • For the scallops
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 8 to 10 soft corn or flour tortillas, warm
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)

Directions

  • Make the pico de piñata
  • 1. Stir together the jicama, clementine or orange segments and juice, lime juice, if desired, red onion, cilantro, chile, and salt. (If using lime juice, aim to use half as much lime juice as orange or clementine juice.) Set aside.
  • Cook the scallops
  • 2. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot. While the skillet is heating, pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season them with salt. Add the oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Immediately add the scallops, one by one so they aren’t touching, and cook, without moving, until the undersides are browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (When the scallops are ready, they will move when you shake the pan or nudge them with a metal spatula because their browned crust will release them from the pan.) Flip the scallops and sear on the other side until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more, depending on the size of the scallops.
  • 3. Assemble the tacos
  • 4. Add the chicharrones, if using, and peanuts to the pico de piñata. Cut the scallops into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Pile the scallops and pico de piñata on the tortillas. Serve with the lime wedges for squeezing, if desired.

Shrimp Taco Variation

  • Substitute 1 pound popcorn shrimp for the sea scallops. Season with salt and sauté, stirring, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
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