Ayamase with Orkney scallop, shito and green plantain chips recipe

  • 4–6
  • 2 hours plus time for the shito XO to infuse and cool overnight and the scallop roe to dehydrate

Ayo Adeyemi serves fresh Orkney scallops here with ayamase stew, a West African stew made from green peppers, plantain chips and shito XO sauce. This recipe makes more shito XO sauce than you need, but it's so delicious you'll use it up in no time.

First published in 2023




Shito XO

Ayamase stew

Green plantain chips



Shuck the live scallops and remove the skirt and roe attached. Put the scallop roe in ice water then pat it dry. Smoke the roe over wood chips


Once smoked, place the roe on an oven tray and dehydrate at 60°C for 12 hours. Once dehydrated, blend to a powder


To make the shito XO, heat the oil to 180°C in a wide saucepan and fry the prawns and mackerel until golden brown. Strain and reserve the oil for later 


Blend the cooked fish in a food processor for 1 minute until it forms fine crumbs


Use 50ml of the reserved oil to sweat the onions in saucepan until soft but not coloured. Add the Scotch bonnet, ginger and garlic pastes. Add the tomato paste and slowly cook out for 10–15 minutes until roasted and dark in colour


Add the blended fish, soy and fish sauce and mix well then remove from the heat


Cover with the remaining reserved oil and leave to cool down overnight in fridge


For the ayamase stew, sweat the onions with the oil in a wide saucepan until softened


Add the green peppers and continue to cook until they have softened. Add the garlic, salt, sugar, chilli, pepper and stock and continue cooking for 15 mins on low heat


Blend everything together on high speed until smooth


Blanch the spinach for 1 minute and then shock it in iced water


Squeeze out excess water from the spinach and blend with the other ingredients until smooth, and then pass through a fine sieve


For the green plantain chips, peel the plantains and cut them into thin strips using knife or a mandolin

  • 2 green plantains

Heat oil in a saucepan to 170°C and fry the plantain strips for 2 minutes or until golden and crispy

  • oil, for deep-frying

Blend the scallop roe with spices in a spice grinder until it forms a powder


Dust over the crispy plantain chips and sprinkle with sea salt


Heat a non-stick pan with a splash of oil, and sear the scallops on service side for 1 minute on high heat until they form a golden brown crust

  • grapeseed oil

Remove the pan from the heat, add some butter and lemon juice and then flip the scallop and baste on the other side


Season with sea salt to finish and allow to rest before serving


To serve, spoon some ayamase stew onto a plate. Strain the shito from the oil and place a heaped spoonful on top of the scallop. Top the shito with the green plaintain crisps. Finish with crispy plantain on top of the scallop as well

Chef Ayo Adeyemi always dreamt of fusing the West African flavours of his childhood with the refinement of fine dining. At Fitzrovia’s Akoko, he brings that vision to life, immersing diners in the depth and diversity of the cuisine.

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