May Contain Nuts

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Dried Scallops (Conpoy) and Spinach Dish

My mom occasionally makes one of my favourite dishes from time to time.  It’s a bit labour intensive and the fact that dried scallops are not cheap are reasons why we didn’t have it very often.  This dish is packed with nutrients from vitamin A, C and K, iron, and a lot more goodness that comes with spinach and garlic.

Dried scallops also known as conpoy are used mainly in chinese dishes to add rich (since it’s expensive – haha) flavours to dishes.  It’s like adding saffron to a paella.  A little goes a long way and it’s more expensive than crack (or maybe not).  Common uses of dried scallops are in congee (chinese porridge) and fried rice which is my favourite method (fried rice with dried scallops, tobiko and egg white – yums!).


  • 8 whole dried scallops
  • 2 whole garlic (more or less according to your taste)
  • canola oil
  • 1 -2 bunches of spinach (more spinach = thicker spinach bed)
  • dash of soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch

Soak the dried scallops in cold water.  Do a quick swirl to clean the dirt from the scallops and replace the water.  Soak it for a few hours until you can easily them into smaller chunks.  Put the scallops aside. It is normally if they break into individual strands (which is what most asian dishes use).  You can keep the water for other uses.  Uses for scallop water can be used for clear soups or to cook rice in which is fantastic.  Scallops are expensive so I try to make use of everything including the flavoured water!

* I’m only using half of what I suggested because my husband doesn’t eat scallops.

Skin the garlic and keep as a whole clove.  Heat up the oil until it’s boiling and carefully toss the garlic in and fry for 30 seconds. Remove from oil and place with the scallops.

Wash the spinach and cook the spinach in boiling water for 15 seconds.  Remove from the pot and make a spinach bed on a dish after removing the excess water out (hand squeeze works best but watch out – it’s hot!).  You can press the spinach down if you need room.  You can also cut it so that it’s easier to scoop the spinach out.

Top the spinach with the garlic and scallops.  You have the option to steam it, that’s how my mom prepared it but she, like all old fashion moms, like to overcook some foods.  I’ve made half of it without scallops and the other half the proper way. 🙂

Sauce: Mix the hoisin sauce with soy sauce, cornstarch and a bit of cold water.  Then cook it in pot in medium heat until it turns into a consistency that you want.  Pour on top of the dish and it is ready to be served with rice or noodle (it’s on the salty side).


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