From John Gregory-Smith’s Mighty Spice Express Cookbook.

For a healthier take on the traditional friday night fish and chip feast, try this super-fast, tangy and spicy scallop ceviche, packed with South-east Asian flavours. Ceviche is simply raw fish, or certain types of shellfish, that has been “cooked” in an acid, such as lime juice or vinegar. Make sure you buy the freshest seafood you can on the day you want to make the dish. If you want to reduce the chilli heat, remove the seeds – and if you like it to be a bit more piquant, chuck in an extra chilli.


Scallop Ceviche with Buckwheat Noodles & Avocado Salad

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes
For the Scallop Ceviche:
30g/1oz/scant ¼ cup peanuts
2 lemongrass stalks
3 spring onions
1 red chilli
375g/13oz scallops
2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp sugar
1 large handful of mint leaves
For the Buckwheat Noodles:
3 spring onions
200g/7oz buckwheat noodles
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
For the Avocado Salad:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground coriander
2 ripe avocados
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
sea salt

1. Roughly chop the peanuts and put them in a frying pan. Toast the peanuts over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until golden. Remove from the heat and leave to one side to cool.

2. Meanwhile, remove the tough outer leaves from the lemongrass and cut off the ends of the stalks. Trim all the spring onions for the ceviche and the noodles. Cut the top off the chilli, then finely chop half the chilli with 3 spring onions and the lemongrass, and put them into a bowl for the ceviche. Finely chop the remaining spring onions and chilli half, and put them in a separate small bowl to add to the noodles.

3. Cook the noodles in boiling water for 5–7 minutes until soft, or as directed on the packet. While the noodles cook, cut the scallops into thin slices on the horizontal and lay them in an even layer in a shallow serving dish. Squeeze over the juice from the limes and shake the dish so that all the scallops are coated. Cover and leave to one side for 8–10 minutes so that the scallops can “cook” in the acid and turn slightly opaque in colour. Remember to shake the dish from time to time.

4. When the noodles have cooked, drain in a colander and refresh under cold water and drain again. Return them to the pan and dress with the soy sauce, olive oil and sesame oil. Mix well, then tip the noodles into a serving bowl. Scatter with the reserved chopped chilli and spring onions in the bowl for the noodles. Cover and leave to one side.

5. Make the dressing for the salad by whisking the red wine vinegar and sugar together in a mixing bowl until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the olive oil and sesame oil, then add the coriander and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together well.

6. Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones with a knife. Scoop out small pieces of the flesh using a teaspoon and put them into the bowl with the dressing. Carefully mix everything together so that the avocado does not discolour. Tip the avocado on to a serving plate and scatter over the pumpkin seeds. Cover and leave to one side.

7. Add the fish sauce to the “cooked” scallops, then add the sugar and the reserved chopped chilli, spring onions and lemongrass, and carefully toss together. Rip the mint leaves over the top, scatter over the toasted peanuts and serve with the noodles and avocado salad.


‘Spice master’ John Gregory-Smith shows how exciting food – inspired by street stalls all over the world – can be prepared with lightning speed. With inspiration from Asia, South America, North Africa and the Middle East, John has done the thinking for you and created recipes that are full of brilliant time-saving techniques and shortcuts.


John Gregory Smith's Mighty Spice Express Cookbook“Fast, fresh and full-on flavours from street foods to the spectacular”

Mighty Spice Express by John Gregory-Smith

224 pages • Illustrated • £20.00

AUS $32.99 NZ $42.00

Buy the book now!




0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.