Teriyaki Glazed Sea Scallops

by Andie Mitchell on August 4, 2010

When I was 18 I pierced my nose. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 19, I told my mother I didn’t want to pursue the honors track in college because, “Who cares?” My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 20 I lost 135 lbs. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 21, I told my mother I was deeply sad and didn’t know how to go on. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. When I was 22 I told my mother I’d just spent the night chatting with Leonardo DiCaprio and laughing with Mark Ruffalo on the set of Shutter Island. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 23 I told my mother I was moving to Philadelphia to work on another film, but this time with Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd (unfortunately not with Paul Rudd). My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 24, I told my mother I was going to stop working in film and start writing. A cooking blog. Not knowing what a blog was, my mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 25, I told my mother I was packing my belongings and moving to Seattle. Just because. My mother turned and said, “Follow your heart.”

And I did.

Here I am, twenty five, having lost a lot in life. My front teeth on the see-saw, my first spelling bee (who the hell knew the correct placement of the ‘L’ in purple?), my dad, a job or two, 135 lbs, multiple pairs of sunglasses, and most often- my way.

I’ve never known what to do with myself. And I’m not even referring to the big dreamy picture of “what shall I do with my life?” Even in the mornings, the days, the 4:39′s of my life, I’ve felt at a loss. An anxiety of the here and now. What am I doing now? Where do I go from here? Always slightly an unease of being.

And despite this ever-present discomfort, I’ve made a life. Just driven to the end of each street, weighed the options of each turn, and hung a right or a left. Down avenues leading to the sets of major motion pictures, to nights waiting tables, to days and weeks on end laughing to the point of tears with friends, to sitting at home all day in my pajamas, to modeling, to business suits, to watching Days of Our Lives with Nana. And being completely aware of the entire plot history. Unfortunately.

What I’ve come to realize is that the gentle sensation of ants in my pants at all times is just letting me know I’m alive. That I’m on the verge. Of doing stuff. Or not. But just that there’s something ahead, the very bad and the very good.

I’m reminded to take chances, to make illegal turns a time or ten, to crash, fail, and seriously consider that fall-back plan at Starbucks. I hear they have a great benefits package.

I’d rather not tell you I’ve always known the right choice. I never did. I never do. I’ve made my mother cry a zillion and one times. Salty joy and pain. But she and I know that it just means we’re living, we’re feeling, and if nothing else, that my mother’s tear ducts still work.

Teriyaki Glazed Sea Scallops (serves 2)

This scallop dish is one of my favorites, one that I’ve shown you before but is worth repeating. It incorporates my trusted teriyaki sauce recipe, which glazes the long strips of tender-crisp vegetables and succulent scallops in the most luscious of ways. Salty from soy sauce, zesty from freshly grated ginger, and sweet from a spoonful of brown sugar. It’s bright and boisterous, dare I say rowdy with flavor- a recipe you’ll make again and again.

Teriyaki Sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 TBSP chopped scallions
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 cups sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus
  • ½ lb sea scallops
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (optional, but it does help to make the sauce nice and thick)

1. Whisk teriyaki sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes, until beginning to soften.

3. Stir in teriyaki sauce and allow mixture to come to a simmer.

4. Add scallops. Stir and cook mixture for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until  scallops have turned an opaque white.

5. In a small cup, mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water until disolved. Stir into the pan and let mixture come to a simmer for one minute to thicken fully and coat the scallops and vegetables.

Serve!

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Ameena August 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

This is such a touching post Andrea! Seriously, I read each and every word and marveled at what you wrote. As a mom and a daughter I can relate to this in so many ways. I’m sure my mom has cried about my choices and I will cry about Maya’s. But one day I will say, follow your heart, just as my mom said to me.

You’ve accomplished so much in your life already, I am very much in awe of you!

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Thank you, Ameena! Your comment really made me smile!!

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Carolyn @ lovinlosing.com August 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

I LOVE you’re writing! :) You always make me smile.

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Cindy August 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

OH how I adored this. I was droooling over the scallops but entranced in your beautiful story.

yes…we may cry but WE ARE LIVING LIFE (and lol over her tear ducts still working)

you’ve LIVED quite a life in 25 Andrea. NEVER stop! EVER.

I also know with all my heart that my littlest monkey is an indepentant soul and will soon be breaking my heart into a million peices…and I have my teenager who, will follow his heart too, but most likely always be close by. (that’s what my heart tells me anyways)

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I NEED for my boys to live an extroardinary lives for themselves. I NEED for them to be happy and free.

I can’t wait to see thier journey unfold.

THANKS for this (scallops included) and don’t worry, MY tear ducts are working just fine too!
xoxoxo

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lisaou11 August 4, 2010 at 11:11 am

I love that you recognize that even bad choices make a life worth living. Every choice, right or wrong, leads you to now–which is beautiful.

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Shanna, like Banana August 4, 2010 at 11:28 am

You never cease to amaze me, Andrea. And I’m grateful for the honesty of your discomfort. Day in and day out, I feel ‘ants in my pants’ and have this underlying unsettledness that I can’t quite pinpoint. My mind and body must always be on the go and I don’t quite know what I’m *going to*. The only time I’m somewhat at rest is the first precious hours of initial sleep where bed is my respite.

I’m 30 and still struggling / learning!

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Erica August 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

Amen….life is never supposed to be just “normal” or comfortable. Thats what makes it exciting. I am always looking for new ways to make scallops for the man- this looks great

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

I’m impressed by your ability to follow your life where it leads you rather than force it down a path that it doesn’t want to go. Kudos my dear. I wish I had the same valour

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Thanks, Samantha! You’re very kind.

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman August 4, 2010 at 11:47 am

This was such a touching post. You’re an amazing writer and the stories you tell just touch my heart. I’d love to be more like the antsy girl you describe here…taking chances in order to live the life she wants. You’re so brave for moving to all these new cities. I think it’s admirable that you follow your heart.

(Oh and spending the night chatting with Leonardo DiCaprio and laughing with Mark Ruffal? That might make me hate you a little. Just out of jealousy though.)

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Tracey, it means so much that you’ve complimented my writing, as so often I think of you in the list of great writers I know. Thank you!

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Katie @ Health for the Whole Self August 4, 2010 at 11:53 am

I just love your writing! It’s so fresh, with the perfect mix of humor and compassion.

I have also made my mother cry countless times. Or maybe not cry, but bite her nails down to the cuticle with worrying. And yet the times I’ve made her worry have been the times I’ve been taking risks and living life to the fullest. So she’ll just have to put up with ugly fingernails. ;)

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Thanks so much, Katie!

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Tina August 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

I feel so much when you write. It’s like I can see the memories in your head. You have already experienced such an amazing life. I’m thrilled to be a part of it through the blog now and learn so much about you. You are one spectacular woman, my friend.

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Once again, such a wonderful post. This one didn’t have me laughing as much but it was truly touching. Most of us don’t know where we’re heading in life but it is the ride that is most rewarding. Not knowing what comes next is not necessarily a bad thing.

AND YOU MET LEO???!!!!! If that was a joke I am very disappointed. If it wasn’t I am still disappointed. That I am not you, lol.

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Haha, I did meet Leo a few times. Working on the film, I saw him often and to be honest, was always starstruck. He’s always been *that *celebrity for me, the one who would make me fall over upon meeting. It was a blast- he’s very nice by the way!

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Leah @ Why Deprive? August 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm

This post was amazing. I dont really know what else to say. You are such a talented writer!

Oh – and those scallops look absolutely delicious.

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Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life August 5, 2010 at 7:20 am

Delicious!

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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors August 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Look at those colors! Oh my….your food is not only a treat for the belly but also for the eyes. I love the asian flavors and fresh produce that goes with it.

Always a joy, Andrea :)

Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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thehealthyjunky August 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Wow! What a great post! This made me teary eyed! It’s been an emotional week for me and this post was touching! I have scallops in my freezer right now and now have something to do with them! Great recipe!

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dynamic damsel August 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I love scallops! Looks scrumptious! And your post is moving! Interesting too! You def know how to keep the reader’s attention.

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Thanks, Jackie! I really appreciate that!!

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lequan@luvtoeat August 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm

As a mother of two, I can honestly and without a doubt in my mind say that the love a mom has for her children is the greatest and most powerful thing in this world. This was another beautiful post and I loved reading every word of it, right down to the delicious recipe. You have a true talent for cooking and writing. With both put together, you are a force to be reckoned with my dear. I’m sure your mother cries everytime she reads your post because she is blessed with such a beautiful, well-rounded daughter. Let the power of your mother’s love continue to drive you, and always follow your heart Andrea. We moms really do mean that when we say it :-). Last but definitely not least, thank you for this wonderful recipe. I absolutely love it!

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm

LeQuan, you are too kind for words. Thanks a million times over!

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Faith August 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm

This is the second recipe for scallops I’ve seen today. I love scallops waaaaaay too much for this to be a coincidence! ;) I hope all is well with you and you’re loving your new city, sweetie!

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Sophie @ yumventures August 6, 2010 at 7:23 am

I love scallops, but hardly ever buy or make them. I might have to make this!!

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Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) August 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

Your writing is absolutely beautiful and real. Life is full of crazy turns, ups and downs, all arounds. And I love that you followed your heart.

And also, I love this recipe! I’m not even normally into scallops, but this dish sounds absolutely wonderful. :D

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Sarah August 14, 2010 at 3:30 pm

What a beautiful post, Andrea. Following your heart is the most important thing in life…and knowing the ins and outs of the Austin/Carrie/Sami love triangle don’t hurt either.

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Sarah!! So lovely meeting you! Friends in the blog world and real life? Awesome.

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Paul December 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm

OK. I have never sent a recipe to anyone in my life, until a moment ago. And I haven’t even prepared it yet – I’ll start cooking in a moment, but right now I’m busy viewing myself – both father and son – from a slightly different perspective Great art can do that.

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