Seared Sea Scallops with Red Thai Curry and Crispy Rice Cake

Chris arrived home tonight just as discussions were being had about what to have with our scallops tonight.  Options were laid out, but I l already knew the answer that was coming.  It shall be rice cake fried in butter.  But first, let's talk sea scallops.  They are one of my favorite seafood items, but I am picky about how they are cooked.  Even now, it remains a challenge to get the hard crispy sear on the outside while accomplishing the perfect medium rare center.  I would tend to err on the rare side as I find overcooking strips them of their silky tenderness.  The beautiful luscious scallop you just shelled out good money for becomes ordinary and rubbery.  
1.5 lbs U15 Seal Scallops
1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
3 dried kaffir lime leaves (substitute a little lime juice if you don't have the leaves)
1 tsp fish sauce

Combine coconut milk and curry paste in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil and simmer for about 7 minutes.  Add fish sauce and lime leaves.  At this point, I would add fresh basil leaves to finish, but none in the house.  Keep sauce warm while you sear the scallops.

In a smoking hot fry pan, add a little bit of vegetable oil.  Dry the scallops well on paper towels and salt and pepper them.  Sear the scallops, pressing down on them when you first lay them in the pan to make sure you get full contact on the surface of the scallop.  Do not overcrowd the pan as they will then not brown properly.  Sear them for about a minute a side.  You can test for doneness much like a steak.  Soft and jiggly, still raw, the firmer, the more cooked it is.  I go with just over soft and jiggly.  A little resistance, but not too much.  Let the scallops rest for a minute on a separate plate after cooking.  They will release a bit of juice (which I added to the curry sauce).  Then plate them with the rice cake.
For the crispy rice cake.  I cooked medium grain white rice in chicken stock.  In separate pan, I fried together 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp minced ginger, 2 scallions thinly sliced.  Once the rice is finished cooking add in the garlic/ginger/scallions and mix to incorporate.  Form the rice into large hockey puck sized discs.  I used a metal ring.  Then fry in butter.

I have to admit, there was a little grumbling amongst the girls about scallops, before dinner.  I was not worried.  More for us, right?  But upon first bite, Stella uttered, "hey, I like scallops!"  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  


  1. This looks delicious AND beautiful! Can you tell me what those small black seeds are in the photo of the finished dish?

  2. Hi Maria, those are black sesame seeds.

  3. Yummy is small word for this dish, I love sea food and this one is surely in my list to try out. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us, going to have it soon

  4. Thai dishes are very delicious and it looks very attractive. Specially the gravy foods. I will try tis recipe at home as i don't have any Thai restaurant near my home.


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