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Tiger Milk Scallops

Serves 4 
Takes 90 minutes 

We really had no idea what this Peruvian dish would be like when we first came across the recipe; it is, after all, quite an odd set of ingredients. It is, however, absolutely delicious, the two sauces in perfect harmony flavour and enhance the sweet potatoes and ceviched scallops to make a gorgeous, sophisticated dish that amazes and delights. 

Tiger Milk - Leche de Tigre in Spanish - is a classic part of Peruvian cuisine. They do love their ceviched fish there, and  the recipe can be adapted and changed to suit all sorts of other fish 

300g the very finest sushi quality scallops, corals removed 

The Tiger Milk marinade 
½ shallot, finely chopped 
1cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
1 large celery stick, chopped 
5g coriander leaves, chopped 
½ a small hot chilli, deseeed and very finely chopped 
juice of half a lime 
3 passion fruits 

The sweet potatoes 
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice 
60g soft brown sugar 
1 star anise 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 dstspn butter
1 dstspn white miso paste
Smoked salt
Olive oil

To serve 
3 small/baby courgettes 
1 teasp finely chopped dill
finely chopped coriander to garnish 

  • Halve the passion fruits, scoop the flesh inside out with a teaspoon into a sieve over a bowl. Press the flesh with a spoon so about 30mls of juice comes out. Set aside 
  • Put the shallot, ginger and celery into a blender and add 75mls of water. Whizz till completely smooth, and strain through a sieve into a medium sized bowl. Add the 5g of chopped coriander leaves and the chilli, then add the passion fruit juice and about two thirds of the lime juice - and check whether you need to add any more. The mixture should be quite acid but well balanced between the passion fruit and lime. This is your Tiger Milk or Leche de Tigre marinade. Set aside 
  • With a very sharp knife, carefully slice each scallop horizontally into three slices. Add to the Tiger Milk and set aside to ceviche 
  • Carefully slice the courgettes as thinly as you can. Mix with the dill and set aside 
  • Heat your oven to 200C, put half the sweet potato cubes into a baking tin in a single layer, sprinkle with smoked salt and olive oil, and bake, turning  occasionally till golden and crispy
  • Meanwhile, for the sweet potato puree, put 500mls of water, the sugar, star anise and cinnamon into a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the other half of the sweet potatoes and simmer till only just cooked. This takes about 8 minutes. Remove them from the cooking liquor and whizz to a fine puree (you may need to add a spoonful or two of the cooking liquor, the rest can be discarded). Whisk in the butter and the miso, and set aside
  • To serve:-
  • Place about a quarter of the puree in the middle of each plate, and scatter the scallop slices, the courgettes and the sweet potato cubes around. Sprinkle a little tiger milk around, scatter a little chopped coriander and serve with some more tiger milk in a little sauce boat