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Seared Scallop Tacos with Jicama Peanut Slaw

Romulo Yanes

Yield: Makes 8-10 tacos

Servings: 3-4

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

This recipe is excerpted from Just Tacos: 100 Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.


For the pico de piñata

  • 1 cup diced (1⁄4 inch) jicama
  • 2 large clementines or 1 navel orange, peeled, including all white pith, and diced (1 cup) plus juice from 1 large clementine or 1⁄2 navel orange
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped chicharrón (fried pork skin; optional)
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cocktail peanuts
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 habanero chile, minced
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt

For the scallops

  • 1 lb. sea scallops, tough ligaments removed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable or olive oil


For the pico de piñata

  • Stir together all the ingredients in a bowl.

For the scallops

  • 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, about 3 minutes (when the scallops are ready they will move when you shake the pan because their browned crust will release them from the pan). Turn the scallops over and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
  • Cut the scallops into 1⁄2-inch pieces and make tacos with the pico de piñata.

You can substitute popcorn shrimp for the scallops. Season with salt and sauté, stirring, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.


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