Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Thai Green Curry, Snap Peas, and Carrots
Yield: Servings: 4
Perfectly seared scallops stand out in this fragrant curry. There are a lot of ingredients involved in making the curry paste, but they all go right into a blender, which means it’s super easy to make. Serve the curry with rice or noodles.
3 Tbs. very finely chopped lemongrass (from about 2 stalks)
3 Tbs. coarsely chopped serrano chiles with seeds (2 to 3 medium peppers)
2 Tbs. coconut oil or canola oil
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped shallot
1 Tbs. coarsely chopped garlic
1 Tbs. coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk, well shaken
1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth
1 tsp. granulated sugar
5 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal (about 1-1/4 cups)
6 oz. sugar snap peas, strings removed and sliced on the diagonal (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 tsp. fish sauce
1-1/4 lb. dry sea scallops, side muscle removed
1 Tbs. canola oil; more as needed
1 Tbs. unsalted butter; more as needed
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
Cooked rice or rice noodles, for serving (optional)
Combine the lemongrass, chiles, oil, shallot, garlic, ginger, cilantro, coriander, cumin, and lime zest in a blender. Add 3 Tbs. water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper, and blend to form a coarse, wet paste.
In a 4-quart saucepan, cook the curry paste over medium heat, stirring frequently, until much drier and just beginning to stick to the pan, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, 1/2 cup water, and the sugar. Increase the heat to medium high, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and snap peas, bring to a simmer, and cook until just barely tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce, and season to taste with salt.
Pat the scallops dry. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the butter. Sprinkle the scallops all over with coriander and 1/4 tsp. salt. Working in batches if necessary to keep from crowding, cook the scallops, undisturbed, until very well browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until just barely cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes more, depending on size. Transfer to a plate. Repeat, if necessary, wiping out the pan and adding more butter and oil as needed.
Stir the chopped herbs into the curry. Serve over rice or noodles, if you like. Top the curry with the scallops.
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