Flying chef Shuji makes kuwayaki Hervey Bay scallops

On the last day of my annual Aikido tour of Australia, I introduced to my Aikido friends and their families to five simple dishes in Brisbane, Queensland. 

Kuwayaki sauce is less sweet compared to teriyaki sauce, and has a subtler, delicate flavour. It does not overpower the natural flavour of the scallops—rather it enhances it. You can make it in advance and pour it into an empty sake bottle and store it at room temperature for up to a year. This summer, use this versatile BBQ sauce on anything, but especially when barbecuing and pan-frying seafood, chicken, beef, or pork.  

Have a look at the video and join me in preparing this delightful dish! 

Kuwayaki Hervey Bay Scallops

Serves 4


  • 12 fresh scallops, at room temperature
  • plain flour as needed
  • vegetable or olive oil as needed
  • asatsuki shallots or chives, chopped, as needed
  • lemon or sudachi citrus fruit

      For kuwayaki BBQ Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sake (or white wine)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Rinse scallops in cold salted water and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Coat liberally with plain flour.
  3. Heat saucepan on medium heat and coat the bottom with vegetable oil.
  4. Place flour-dusted scallops in sauce pan and cook each side uncovered for 2-3 minutes (adjust time depending on scallop size). To ensure scallops don’t stick, move them around gently using thongs or chopsticks.
  5. When a light golden brown crust forms, check to see if scallops are cooked with a skewer or chopstick. Try not to overcook, otherwise scallops will become chewy.
  6. Remove from heat, and allow saucepan to cool for about one minute. This prevents the kuwayaki BBQ sauce from sticking to the bottom of the overheated pan and burning. 
  7. Pour kuwayaki sauce into the saucepan and stir.
  8. Arrange the scallops on a plate and sprinkle with finely chopped asatsuki shallots, or chives. Serve with lemon or sudachi citrus fruits.

*If you prefer chicken, or if you want to make the meal a little more substantial, you can use/add chicken thigh fillet meat for this dish.

  1. You do not need to coat the chicken meat with flour.
  2. Pan fry chicken thigh fillet on skin side first on medium heat without oil, and cook uncovered until the skin is golden brown and turn over and cook the other side.
  3. To make sure the chicken is cooked, poke it with a metal skewer or fork to see if the juice is transparent—not pink or red.
  4. Follow steps 6 and 7 above.
  5. Slice the chicken meat and arrange it on a serving plate with pan-fried bell pepper, shallots or mushrooms. If you like, sprinkle ground Japanese pepper (kona sansho) over the kuwayaki chicken.

Next week on the blog, we will be making miso katsu—the Japanese take on the continental favourite, schnitzel. Served with rich hacho miso sauce, this is a great item to add to your repertoire, especially with the cool weather just around the corner!

copyright © 2015 Shuji Ozeki