One-Pot Wonders

Sea Scallops in Thai Red Curry

April 12, 2010
Author Notes

The scallops can be served over linguini for a contemporary twist. You can also substitute Thai green or yellow curry paste for the red. REMEMBER, you can always add more curry paste to taste, but you cannot remove it once it's been added, so add it a little at a time. - epicureanodyssey —epicureanodyssey

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a nice complex, flavorful curry that doesn't overpower the taste of the scallops. The little bit of sugar in the sauce helps highlight the scallops' sweetness. The creamy coconut milk helps tame the heat and adds a nice richness. The fresh flavors of the cilantro and green onions are nice, plus they add a bit of crunch. The recipe has a couple of steps, but it's all done in one pan and comes together very quickly -- try it instead of ordering Thai take-out. - Stephanie —The Editors

  • Serves 6
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 fresh Thai red chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches green onions, white & green parts, thinly sliced, separated
  • 2 1/2 pounds large sea scallops
  • 2 14-ounce cans best quality coconut milk, such as Mae Ploy
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar or light brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla), or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • steamed jasmine rice, to serve
In This Recipe
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking. Saute' chile and white parts of scallions, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Set aside.
  2. Pat scallops dry and season with salt. Heat remaining oil in the same skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Cooking in batches, so as not to crowd, saute' scallops until light golden, about 2 minutes on each side (scallops will be ALMOST cooked through). Transfer to a bowl with any juices that may have accumulated and set aside.
  3. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons curry paste, stirring, and saute' for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk 1/4 cup at a time until well incorporated. Taste, then mix the remaining 1/2 tablespoon curry paste with a little of the coconut milk mixture in a small bowl, and add if you'd like a little more heat. Stir in the palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minutes. Taste sauce and correct seasoning with .
  4. Add the scallops with their liquid to the sauce and heat to a quick simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 1-2 minutes just to reheat the scallops, being careful not to overcook.
  5. To serve, remove scallops to a wide heated bowl and pour sauce over scallops. Sprinkle with scallion greens/red chile mixture and cilantro. Serve over steamed Jasmine rice.
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