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Kitchen Note: Seared Tuna & Scallops with Noodle salad and Thai Dipping Sauce

By John ~ Friday, 06 February 2015

This is a dish my 13 year old son prepared for a cookery competition at school. He went on to win the competition and his dish featured on the specials of a local hotel. Below are his notes with full step by step guide. It’s very delicious indeed!

Technical cooking

  • knife skills- so it doesn’t bruise herbs
  • rolling lime- makes it softer and easier to juice
  • soy in water- lightly seasons the noodles
  • using peeler- to guarantee that the carrot and cucumber is thinly sliced.
  • herbs in last- so that the lime acids don’t turn them brown/ fresher for longer

Why I chose this dish

  • nice tasting dish that isn’t reliant on its presentation
  • good hot or room temperature
  • inspired by a dish I had in Portugal (smoked swordfish)

technically dipping sauce but I’m using it as a salad dressing. Also really nice with deep fried fish goujons


  • lime
  • chilli
  • fish sauce
  • sugar
  • water
  • mint
  • coriander
  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • spring onion
  • soy sauce
  • rice noodles
  • olive oil
  • tuna
  • scallops


  • juicer
  • cookie cutter
  • small measuring jug
  • chopping board
  • chef’s knife
  • tomato knife
  • frying pan
  • tea spoons
  • bowls
  • peeler
  • colander
  • siv
  • oven cloth
  • plate
  • plate for herbs, carrots, cucumber and spring onions
  • spatula
  • wiping cloth
  • fork
  • kitchen towel


Thai dipping sauce and noodle salad

roll the lime on the chopping board firmly to loosen, slice in half width ways and juice both halves
slice 1 chilli in half lengthways, set 1 half aside, then take 1 half and slice in half again, choose the largest quarter,remove seeds and white pith, slice finely lengthways into tiny cubes
sieve the lime juice into measuring jug, add 3 teaspoons of fish sauce and 1 level teaspoon of sugar. Add water to sauce to 75ml on the jug. Taste with teaspoon and adjust with more water if too strong
pick 4 green mint leaves (no brown) and slice finely, set aside on a plate
pick bunch of coriander and slice finely, set aside on a plate

Noodle salad

peel 1 carrot with a peeler
peel half a cucumber with a peeler
peel several slices off the carrot and set aside on plate in a pile, do the same with the cucumber
thinly slice the white of the spring onion at 45 degrees angle (onion not knife!!)
add 3 teaspoons of soy sauce into a bowl with rice noodles. Boil some water and pour over the noodles, stir gently. Leave to stand for a few minutes, stir one more time and then drain (sit colander in bowl)
check the time (if before 10am do some cleaning up)


Finishing off

  • lay out carrot and cucumber
  • place small cookie cutter in center of plate and fill with noodles
  • mix coriander and mint into sauce
  • sprinkle spring onion evenly over carrot and cucumber
  • carefully spoon some of the sauce over the noodles
  • Heat a frying pan with a touch of olive oil (put hand over pan to test heat.) Carefully place the tuna in the pan so the oil splashes away from you. Cook for 3 minutes then turn over and cook for a further 3 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan onto the chopping board
  • in the same hot pan, place 2 scallops and cook for 1 and a half minutes then turn over and remove pan from heat, leave scallops to cook
  • remove the scallops one at a time from the pan and place one either side of the tuna make sure plate is clean around edges and then serve.