While you may not see scallops in curry sauce all that often, believe me, these spicy coconut curry scallops are delicious!
These curry scallops make for a ridiculously easy appetizer, or, you can transform it into a full dinner with the addition of naan or basmati rice.
In this recipe, I used my absolute new favorite ingredient…thiyal! This is a dry tamarind coconut curry paste! I bought mine from Atina Foods but there are other brands from various regions that might offer different flavors! You can also use a Thai curry paste or try curry pastes from other regions, like this South Indian curry paste or this Goan curry paste! Whatever variety you go for will offer a unique flavor to this dish
How to Make Spicy Coconut Curry Scallops:
For these scallops in curry sauce, I really let the curry paste do the heavy lifting. And in fact, I was plum out of all aromatics like onion and garlic in my kitchen. Feel free to start your curry sauce with sliced onions first to add even deeper flavor to this dish, but if you don’t have any, fear not! You can still make this delicious spicy coconut curry scallops.
First. start by charring the tomatoes. Heat oil in a skillet until very hot. Add the tomato quarters and cook until they begin to char. Melt butter into the pot and toss the tomatoes in the butter. Next, add the curry paste and melt it into the butter, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent it from burning. At this point, you will want to add any additional flavor to the sauce base. I wanted additional heat, so I added crushed red pepper and a touch of chili powder.
Finally, add two cups of vegetable or chicken stock and 1 cup of coconut milk. Hard simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, pat your scallops dry and remove the side muscle and season them liberally with salt and pepper. Gently place them in the curry sauce and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes before turning off the heat and letting them rest for a minute two. Serve immediately!
All told, it’s about 30 minutes total and you’ll have an incredible dish on the table in no time!
Looking for more seafood recipes? Check my archives!
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Spicy Coconut Curry Scallops
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 4 Roma tomatoes quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut curry paste your favorite brand, Thai or Indian style
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon chili powder optional
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 pound scallops side muscle removed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro or parsley leaves optional, for garnish
- Red pepper flakes optional, for garnish
Char the Tomatoes:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium-high. Once very hot and shimmering, add the tomatoes, cut-side down, and cook without moving for 3-5 minutes. Once charred, flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Brown the Curry Paste:
- Melt the butter into the pot and add the coconut paste. Lightly mash it with the back of your spoon and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the crushed red pepper and chili powder, if using, and lightly sauté until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
Simmer the Sauce:
- Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Taste and season to your preferences. Reduce heat to medium and add the coconut milk. Allow to bubble on medium heat for 10 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to reduce too much or to boil too hard.
Cook the Scallops:
- While the sauce simmers, pat the scallops dry and remove the side muscle. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Gently place the scallops in the broth in an even layer and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the scallops to rest for 1 minute. Remove the lid. If the scallops are opaque, serve immediately. If they need to cook a little longer, cover again and allow the residual heat from the broth to cook them. Do not overcook them!
- Ladle the coconut curry broth and charred tomatoes into a shallow bowl and arrange the scallops in the broth. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper, red pepper flakes, and herbs like cilantro or parsley leaves, if desired. Serve with cooked basmati rice or naan bread, if desired. Enjoy!