For this delectable Mexican preparation -which can be made with any firm-fleshed white fish – you need to use the white meat of the scallop only. (The corals are delicious dusted with seasoned flour, briefly sauted in butter and served on toast.)
12oz (340g) scallops, white muscle only Juice of 3 limes (lemons will do)
1 fresh green chilli
1 mild onion
2 medium tomatoes, about 8oz (225g)
2 tablespoons green olives, stoned
1 large firm avocado (ripe, but not mushy)
Small bunch coriander, chopped
1 lime, quartered
Tortilla chips, plain potato crisps or French bread
Rinse the scallops (taking care to remove the sandy little stomach bag), drain, pat dry, and dice neatly. The dice should be about the size of a small hazelnut. If you are using baby scallops (queenies), they can be sliced into rounds as thick as a pound coin. Put the fish into a bowl, and turn it with a little salt and the juice of 1 lime. Cover, and set the bowl in the fridge for 3-4 hours. The fish will turn opaque in the marinade, and virtually cook.
Prepare the vegetables. Deseed and finely chop the chilli (wear rubber gloves, to guard against rubbing your eyes by mistake). Skin and chop the onion. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, wait a moment, then skin, deseed and chop them. Slice the olives. Peel and cube the avocado, but don’t mash it; the pieces should be roughly the same size and shape as the cubed scallops.
Drain the fish and combine it with the chilli, onion, tomatoes, olives and avocado. Sprinkle in the coriander and remaining lime juice. Fold everything gently together. Taste, and add more salt if necessary.