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Pan-Seared Scallops with Red Coconut Curry Sauce

Ingredients

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This Pan-Seared Scallops with Red Coconut Curry Sauce recipe is a dish that effortlessly marries the delicate, sweet taste of scallops with the bold, aromatic notes of Thai-inspired curry.

Easily, adjust the heat level to your liking. Serve this quick and easy curry dish as an appetizer, or pair with steamed rice for one amazing seafood dinner.

A round, charcoal-colored plate filled with seven seared scallops topped with a red coconut curry sauce garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and served with lemon wedges.
Plate the scallops and spoon on the red coconut curry sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

What is Red Coconut Curry Sauce

Red coconut curry sauce is a flavorful sauce commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Thai and Malaysian dishes. It’s made by simmering together ingredients such as red curry paste, coconut milk and additional seasonings like fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.

The result is a rich, creamy sauce with a balanced combination of spicy, savory, and slightly sweet flavors. It’s often used as a base for curries featuring vegetables, meats and/or seafood.

This curry recipe makes more sauce than you will probably need for the scallops. Easily use leftover coconut curry sauce for a topping on your favorite proteins, vegetables or rice.

Why You Should Make this Red Curry Recipe

  • Easy to Prepare: Despite its gourmet appeal, this curry recipe is surprisingly easy to make.
  • Versatile Dish: Whether as an elegant appetizer or a satisfying main course, this seafood recipe is adaptable to any dining occasion.
  • Bursting with Flavor: From the rich red coconut curry sauce to the perfectly seared scallops, each bite is an explosion of flavor.
  • Fusion of Cultures: Experience the best of both worlds with a fusion dish that combines the flavors of Thai cuisine with a touch of culinary creativity.
  • Health Benefits: Indulge in a delicious meal without compromising on health, as this recipe can be customized to suit various dietary preferences and requirements.
  • Restaurant-Quality at Home: Skip the crowded restaurants and enjoy gourmet dining in the comfort of your own kitchen with this impressive recipe.

Ingredients

This ingredient list offers versatile options to customize this Pan-Seared Scallops with a Red Coconut Curry Sauce recipe according to personal preferences, or ingredient availability:

  • Red Curry Paste: Easily substitute with green curry paste or yellow curry paste, for a different flavor profile.
  • Scallops: Try this recipe using white fish such as cod or halibut, salmon, shrimp, chicken, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.
  • Coconut Milk with Cream: Substitute with light coconut milk for a lighter version of the sauce.
  • Thai Red Chili: If unavailable, substitute with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for heat, or omit for a milder sauce.
  • Lemongrass: If fresh lemongrass is not available, substitute with lemongrass paste or grated lemon zest for a similar citrusy flavor.
  • Coconut or Turbinado Sugar: Easily substitute with granulated or light brown sugar.
  • Fish Sauce: For a vegetarian option, substitute with soy sauce or tamari.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Substitute with fresh parsley or basil for a different herbaceous flavor.
  • Ginger: Add a touch of freshly grated ginger for another dimension of flavor.

How to Make a Red Coconut Curry Sauce

  1. Sauté aromatics: Heat olive oil in a pan, add minced garlic and pounded lemongrass, sauté until fragrant.
  2. Caramelize sugar: Sprinkle coconut or turbinado sugar into the pan, cook until caramelized.
  3. Add flavorings: Stir in red curry paste, chili garlic sauce, and sliced Thai red chilis, cook until fragrant.
  4. Simmer with coconut milk: Pour in coconut milk with cream and fish sauce, simmer until the sauce thickens.
  5. Finish with lime and cilantro: Remove and discard the lemongrass. Reduce heat, add lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro, adjust seasoning to taste.

How to Sear Scallops to Perfection

The type of pan you choose to sear scallops is a matter of choice. However, if you are a beginner, I would suggest using a non-stick pan. Keep in mind, searing scallops is all about technique, not necessarily, the equipment:

Once you decide on the pan, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose a high-smoke point oil (canola, grapeseed, avocado).
  • Use dry-packed scallops, if possible to achieve the best sear.
  • Remove the foot from the scallops. Pat dry and season all over with salt.
  • Heat the oil to shimmering. This creates a barrier between the pan and the scallop.
  • Place the scallops in the pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding can cause the scallops to steam, not sear.
  • Add butter.
  • Do NOT touch or flip the scallops until they naturally release from the pan. This can take about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high heat.
  • Once a crust has formed and the scallops have released from the pan, flip and sear on the opposite side for another 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Remove immediately to ensure the scallops do not overcook, and become rubbery.

How to Serve and Store Scallops in a Red Coconut Curry Sauce

  • Serving:
    • Spoon the fragrant red coconut curry sauce onto plates and over the seared scallops.
    • Garnish with fresh cilantro and cracked black pepper.
    • Serve with lime wedges for added brightness.
    • Enjoy as an appetizer, or serve with steamed rice and vegetables as a meal.
  • Storing Leftovers:
    • Store any leftover scallops and sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    • Consume within 2 days.
    • Use leftover coconut curry sauce over your favorite proteins or vegetables.
    • Reheat gently in a pan over low heat, being careful not to overcook the scallops.

More Coconut Curry Recipes to Love

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A round, charcoal-colored plate filled with seven seared scallops topped with a red coconut curry sauce garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and served with lemon wedges.

Red Coconut Curry Sauce


Description

This Pan-Seared Scallops with Red Coconut Curry Sauce recipe is a dish that effortlessly marries the delicate taste of scallops with the bold, aromatic notes of Thai-inspired curry.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1012, U10-U12 dry-packed scallops
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, cut into three pieces and pounded
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut or turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 small Thai red chili, sliced thin
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk with cream
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and pounded lemongrass. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Sprinkle in the coconut or turbinado sugar, allowing it to caramelize with the garlic and lemongrass for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the red curry paste, chili garlic sauce and sliced Thai red chilis to the pan. Cook for another minute, stirring continuously to combine the flavors.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk with cream and fish sauce, stirring well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  5. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least five minutes until it begins to thicken, intensifying in flavor and aroma.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the scallops by removing the foot and patting them dry with paper towels. Season each scallop generously with salt.
  7. In a separate pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully add the seasoned scallops to the pan, making sure not to overcrowd them. Add the butter.
  8. Allow the scallops to sear undisturbed for about 2 minutes until a golden crust forms on the bottom.
  9. Using tongs, gently flip each scallop and sear for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other side. Be careful not to overcook the scallops, as they should remain tender and juicy.
  10. Once the scallops are cooked to perfection, remove them from the pan and transfer to a plate.
  11. To finish the sauce, remove and discard the lemongrass. Reduce the heat and pour in the lime juice and add the fresh cilantro.
  12. Taste for salt, and adjust if necessary. Add more lime juice, if needed.
  13. Spoon the fragrant red coconut curry sauce onto the plate and over the scallops.
  14. Garnish with more fresh cilantro and cracked black pepper. Serve with lime wedges.
  15. Serve immediately.
  16. ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

This Pan-Seared Scallops with Red Coconut Curry Sauce Recipe is a dish that effortlessly marries the delicate, sweet taste of scallops with the bold, aromatic notes of Thai-inspired curry. Easily, adjust the heat level to your liking. Serve this quick and easy curry dish as an appetizer, or pair with steamed rice for one amazing seafood dinner. #curry #curryrecipe #scallops #seafood #easyrecipe #quickrecipes #foodtiktok #appetizer #dinnerideas

♬ In Love With You – BLVKSHP

Notes

  • For a different flavor profile, use green or yellow curry paste.
  • Use a coconut milk with cream. Avoid unsweetened. 
  • If possible, use dry-packed scallops.
  • Adjust the heat level to your liking. For less heat, leave out the Thai chilis.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer for at least five minutes.
  • Be sure to remove the woody lemongrass before serving.
  • After you incorporate the lime juice, taste for both salt and if needed, add more lime juice. Lime juice really elevates this dish.
  • This recipe makes more sauce than you probably need. Easily store and serve over your favorite protein or steamed vegetables.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Reheat leftovers gently on the stovetop. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Red Coconut Curry Sauce, Coconut Curry, Red Curry, Thai Curry, Scallop Sauce, Seared Scallops, Seafood Sauce, Spicy Sauce, Lemongrass Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, Thai Red Chili, Thai Cuisine, Asian Flavors, Fusion Cooking, Gourmet Recipes, Homemade Sauce, Culinary Delight, Flavorful Sauce, Coconut Milk Sauce, Curry Paste, Savory Sauce, Exotic Ingredients, Curry Lovers, Cooking Inspiration, Recipe Ideas, Creative Cooking, Delicious Dishes, Dinner Recipes, Appetizer Ideas, Easy Cooking, Quick Meals, Healthy Eating, Seafood Delights, Elegant Cuisine, Culinary Creations, Foodie Adventures, Taste Sensations, Cooking at Home, Authentic Flavors, Savory Delights, Homemade Gourmet, Food Enthusiasts, Culinary Excellence, Gastronomic Pleasures, Flavor Pairings, Spice Blends, Cooking Techniques, Cooking Tips, Recipe Development, Kitchen Creations, Dining Experience, Food Pairings, Dinner Party Ideas, Cooking Skills, Kitchen Mastery, Culinary Artistry, Flavor Combinations, Ingredient Spotlight, Seasonal Cooking, Festive Meals, Special Occasions, Family Dinners, Date Night Dinners, Dinner for Two, Cooking for Friends, Entertaining Ideas

GET TO KNOW ME!

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

In addition, I’m so very excited to announce I have published my first e-book and paperback, “Mastering Thanksgiving – A Guide to Perfecting Your Thanksgiving Dinner.” Your support would mean the world to me.

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