I first had this dish in Vietnam while eating out with family on my trip last year. The little kids introduced me to cheese on grilled scallops. My initial reaction was, “Grooooss!” Then I remembered I ate grilled silkworms and grilled mouse that this should be a walk in the park.
And you know what? It was surprisingly delicious! I loooooved the savory and richness of the cheese, the amazing aroma of the scallion oil (Mo Hanh), the light crunch of the toasted peanuts and fried pork fat (Tep Mo), and the incredible sweet and spicy flavor of the holy mother sauce, Vietnamese sweet chili dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham).
I made this the other night at home. It was so tasty that for a moment I wished I was single so I didn’t have to share.
For the cheese spread, you must use the Original Laughing Cow Wedge Cheese, which is quite popular in Vietnam. They are readily available in all supermarkets here in the States. Any other cheese is not recommended.
Vietnamese Grilled Scallops with Cheese (So Diep Nuong Pho Mai)
- 12 large scallops on the half shell
- Scallion Oil (Mo Hanh)
- Toasted peanuts (coarsely chop) or Fried Pork Fat (Tep Mo) for a healthier version
- Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham)
- 2 wedges Original Laughing Cow Cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons hot water
- Whisk together Laughing Cow Cheese with water until smooth.
- Brush scallops with scallion oil and a dollop of cheese spread.
- Grill for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and toasted. Sprinkle with toasted peanuts, fried pork fat and a drizzle of Vietnamese fish sauce dipping sauce.