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Carina in print – October Scots Magazine

Carina in print - October Scots Magazine | Contini

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I’m a sucker for shellfish. Mussels, lobsters, prawns, clams, scallops if they ever appear on a menu I’m in. Although oysters I’ll leave them for Victor, I’ve never been a fan.

I met Chinese-American chef Ken Hom once about 20 years ago. What an amazing man and one who played a massive part in bringing Chinese, and later Thai, cooking to our homes in the Scotland and all around the world.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s that Chinese restaurants opened in the UK. Then we could get the ingredients in Chines supermarkets and speciality stores and we could start enjoying cooking the food at home.

Unlike even a few years ago today we cater for vast numbers of International visitors with more and more coming from East Asia. Our restaurant Cannonball has an active role in the Edinburgh Tourism Action group’s “China Ready” group, welcoming our new Chinese visitors.

One think they all have in common is a love of Scottish shellfish too. We have an Oyster Happy Hour from 3pm – 6pm at Cannonball Restaurant Tuesday to Saturday, and we get loads of visitors leaving the Castle and heading in for a late afternoon pick me up.

Shellfish lovers also have the chance to get stuck into delicious Cumbrae and Isle of Mull oysters from the West coast of Scotland, as well as Lindisfarne oysters from the East coast.

All of Cannonball’s oysters are served fresh from the shell or can be served with Roman sauce, red wine vinegar and shallot dressing or lemon and hot chilli sauce. For something extra special, they can also be served Kilpatrick-style with Isle of Mull cheddar, Worcester sauce and crispy bacon.

We have another seafood connection at Cannonball. The restaurant is situated on the site of 16th century townhouse at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Amazingly, the building’s foundations are packed with discarded oyster shells – fast food wrappers of days gone by.

Scallops with Asian Cucumber Relish

We cook this at Cannonball Restaurant and as a starter it’s light, fragrant and very refreshing. Scottish with a touch of the orient.

Serves 2

6 scallop meat, washed and dried
Unsalted butter
Extra virgin olive oil


1 cucumber, skin and seeds removed

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon caster sugar
1large red chilli very finely diced
½ small shallot very finely diced
Handful of fresh coriander leaves


1. In a small saucepan heat the soy sauce, lime juice, water and sugar until dissolved
2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
3. Add the chilli, shallot and coriander
4. Very finely chop the cucumber and coat in the sauce
5. Set this aside in the fridge while you cook the scallops
6. In a shallow frying pan add a little butter and some extra virgin olive oil. Just enough to coat the pan
7. When it’s hot sear the scallops and turn them over when golden
8. Cook for another minute as you don’t want the meat to go tough. You can add a little extra butter and baste the scallops as you wish
9. Serve with this very refreshing cucumber relish

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