Seared Scallop Curry

  • 1 lb sea scallops
  • fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Japanese eggplant diced
  • 3 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 bird’s eye chili peppers finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh/frozen lemongrass minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 2 stalks scallion thinly sliced (reserve a bit for garnish)
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened Thai coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup white wine

I’m Vietnamese so I guess this dish is a Vietnamization of all the Indian and Thai curry dishes I’ve ever had. The ingredients are approximations as I seldom cook with absolute measures but instead rely on my tongue. I served this dish with steamed white rice and flash-fried snow peas. It was delicious with a cold wheat beer. :)

Rinse and pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Heat olive oil in deep, heavy skillet over high heat. Sautee scallops until golden and just cooked through. Transfer to platter.

Put skillet back on burner and add shallots and eggplant. Sautee until slightly golden and then add chili, lemongrass, ginger, scallion, garlic, bay leaf and curry powder to same skillet. Mix the ingredients until they are evenly coated with oil. Whisk together the coconut milk and water and pour into skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until slightly thickened. Add white wine and fish sauce and simmer to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return scallops to skillet 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with green scallions.