This is one of my all-time favorite dishes...I could live on it (and I'm not really kidding). Try to find scallops that are ecologically harvested...it's not always easy, but it's important (esp. if you do eat them a lot). If you aren't a fan of spicy foods, I would add the chilies at the same time as you add the coconut milk, and make sure to de-seed them. If you do like spicy (like me), then don't seed them and wait to add them toward the end, with the bean sprouts. This recipe might serve two people, but I had no problem eating all of it myself. - WinnieAb —WinnieAb
Test Kitchen Notes
This dish comes together in minutes for a fresh, flavorful alternative to takeout. The balance of brown sugar to fish sauce to lime juice in the sauce is just right, and the small amount of full-fat coconut milk adds just enough richness without stifling the other flavors. If you find removing minced garlic from a hot wok tricky, consider using sliced garlic for the first step. Cooks who aren't fans of red bell pepper may want to substitute julienned carrots for color and crunch. - Kristen —The Editors
organic coconut oil, divided
cloves garlic, peeled and minced
scallops, preferably those that are sustainably harvested, rinsed and dried (cut in half, if very large)
green onions/scallions, minced
red bell pepper, julienned
Serrano chilies, minced (you can seed them if you don't want the dish to be very spicy, or leave one, two, or all unseeded)
organic coconut milk (whole, not "lite")
fish stock or chicken stock, preferably homemade (you can use water if you don't have any stock on hand)
Thai fish sauce
fresh lime juice
large handful of mung bean sprouts
leaves from 2 heads of baby bok choy, chopped
minced cilantro, plus more for garnish, if desired
In a skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add half of the garlic. Stir fry until it begins to brown, then remove and reserve.
Add scallops to the wok. Let brown for 1 minute, then turn over and brown on other side for 1 minute. Remove and drain in a colander. Wipe out the pan.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the wok. Add remaining garlic, plus the scallion, red pepper, chilies (unless you want to wait to add them with the bean sprouts), coconut milk, stock or water, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar. Stir to dissolve the brown sugar and bring to a boil.
Add the scallops. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Add the reserved garlic, bean sprouts, the bok choy and the cilantro and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Serve garnished with additional cilantro, if you like...this is wonderful on its own or over rice or rice noodles.
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook.
My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014.
I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.