Roy's Seared Scallop Papaya Roll

January 10, 2012 / By Foodland

Roy's Seared Scallop Papaya Roll

Chef Roy Yamaguchi shares this delicious recipe for one of his signature rolls!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Fish & Seafood
Servings 1 roll


  • Roy's Seared Scallop Papaya Roll
  • 0.25 pound fresh sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (mix with mayonnaise to create aioli)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (mix with Sriracha below to create aioli)
  • 5 cups medium grain Japanese rice
  • 2" square piece of konbu
  • 1 cup sushi vinegar
  • 5 sheets of nori
  • 1 English cucumber, cut lengthwise into 1/4" thick strips
  • 0.5 papaya
  • wasabi
  • Kaiware sprouts
  • seasoned pickled ginger (pink)
  • Papaya Seed Viaigrette
  • 0.25 cup sake
  • 0.25 cup mirin
  • papaya seeds from 1/2 of a papaya
  • 0.75 cup vegetable oil
  • 0.75 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice
  • 1 pinch each of salt and black pepper
  • 0.25 cup lilikoi concentrate


Scallop Mix

  1. Lightly sear scallops over medium-high heat, in 1 tbsp of sesame oil.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Rough chop and drain by squeezing out excess moisture in a cloth napkin.
  4. Mix with Sriracha aioli and set aside to chill.

Preparing Rice

  1. Wash medium grain Japanese rice until the water changes from cloudy to clear.
  2. Let soak until the translucent grains become 90% white (approximately 30-40 minutes after the water first touches the rice).
  3. Drain and place rice in electric rice cooker with 1 cup of water for every cup of rice.
  4. Place a 2” square piece of konbu on top, close, and cook.
  5. When the light turns from cook to warm, unplug the cooker. Leave the lid closed and let sit an additional 10 minutes before opening lid.
  6. Spread rice in a thin single layer on a large platter, and season with sushi vinegar.
  7. Try to coat and separate each individual grain by using the clean, thin blade of a plastic rice paddle.
  8. Use a wet towel to keep the blade clean. Fan the rice to enhance shine and allow to set for 15 minutes.

Preparing Maki

  1. Fill a small bowl with water and place next to your work area.
  2. Place bamboo rolling mat in front of you with bamboo slats running horizontally from left to right, and cover rolling mat with plastic wrap so the rice won’t stick to it.
  3. Cut a whole nori sheet in half, parallel to the lines.
  4. Place a ½ sheet of nori horizontally on mat, rough side up.
  5. Dip your hands into the water, clap off excess and spread approximately 1 cup of rice onto rough side of nori.
  6. Flip over to expose nori, positioning ¾” from bottom of mat.
  7. Place cucumber, avocado, and scallop mix along center line of nori.
  8. All contents should not exceed 1” square in diameter, or else it will be too big to roll.
  9. Gently hold inside ingredients in with your fingertips as you start rolling maki with thumbs. You want to touch the lower rim of the mat to the top border of your ingredients. At this point, you will see a seam of approximately 1 ½” of nori.
  10. While gently holding maki with one hand, lift up top edge of mat with your other hand and pull away from you until the outer seam is in the center of the bottom of the roll.
  11. Gently form with thumbs and middle fingers ½ way up the mat, making a tunnel shape. Remove mat.
  12. Skin papaya and cut a thin, ¼ section lengthwise.
  13. Starting at the right end of maki, slightly overlap thinly sliced papaya onto outside of roll.
  14. Cover with small piece of plastic wrap. Mold lightly with mat.

Papaya Seed Vinaigrette

  1. Flame the alcohol* from the sake and mirin.
  2. Combine sake, mirin, and papaya seeds in a blender until seeds are completely crushed.
  3. Slowly add vegetable oil, allowing it to emulsify.
  4. Add rice wine vinegar, ginger juice, salt, pepper and lilikoi syrup; mix well. Set aside and chill.


  1. With plastic wrap on, cut into 8 even pieces.
  2. Stagger each piece to touch just slightly on a bias.
  3. Spoon on vinaigrette, being careful to touch only the papaya and not the rice.
  4. Drizzle each piece with the Sriracha aioli and garnish plate with wasabi, Kiaware sprouts and pickled ginger.


*Flaming the alcohol: In a small pan with rounded sides and a long handle, slowly heat alcohol over med-low heat until warm to the touch. Use long matches or a barbeque lighter to light the fumes of the alcohol at the edge of the pan, not the liquor itself. If alcohol does not light, it is not warm enough. The flames will die down as the alcohol burns off, but always keep a pan lid ready in case you need to extinguish the flames.
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