The restaurants of Hong Kong don't share their secrets easily, but we were able to closely duplicate this authentic dish by adapting a recipe from Helen Chen's Chinese Home Cooking (Hearst Books, 1994).
This recipe is adapted from one in Helen Chen's Chinese Home Cooking.
Yield: serves 4
1 lb. fresh sea scallops
1 tsp. Chinese rice wine
1 tsp. corn starch
4 tbsp. fermented black beans, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 coin-size slice of fresh ginger
2 scallions, finely chopped
Rinse and drain scallops. Remove the crescent-shaped muscle at the side of each scallop. Place in a bowl with wine and cornstarch.
In another bowl, combine beans, soy sauce, sugar, and 2 tbsp. water. Set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute. Add the scallops and scallions, and stir-fry until the scallops just begin to turn opaque, about 1 minute. Add the black bean mixture and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Discard ginger and serve scallops with rice.