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Scallops with sugna and caper breadcrumbs

You'll need

24 Hervey Bay scallops, on the half shell To serve: lemon wedges   Sugna 250 gm pork back fat, diced into 2cm pieces (see note) 1 tbsp fennel seeds ½ tsp dried chilli flakes   Caper breadcrumbs 2 tbsp olive oil 75 gm sourdough bread, crust removed, coarsely torn ½ tbsp small capers in brine, rinsed ¼ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped Finely grated rind of 1 lemon


  • 01
  • For sugna, combine pork back fat and 100ml water in a saucepan over high heat, cook until fat begins to sizzle (4-6 minutes), then reduce heat to low and cook until fat renders (45 minutes-1 hour). Carefully strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin into a heatproof container, cool to room temperature, refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Dry-roast fennel seeds until fragrant (30 seconds-1 minute). Coarsely crush in a mortar and pestle, then process in a small food processor with pork back fat, chilli and 1 tsp sea salt flakes until shiny and fluffy (1-2 minutes), refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For caper breadcrumbs, heat oil in a frying pan over low heat, add bread and capers, stir occasionally until golden and toasted (2-3 minutes), cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor, pulse with parsley and lemon rind to combine, then set aside.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Place scallops on a large oven tray, top each with 1 tbsp sugna (remainder will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week), scatter with caper breadcrumbs, season to taste with freshly ground pepper and roast until just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Note Pork back fat is available from select butchers. You’ll need to order it in advance.

This recipe is from the October 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“I’m planning a dinner party for my birthday and I’d love to serve the scallops from Sydney’s Berta. Would the chef share the recipe?” Gina Friedman, Melbourne, Vic

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To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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