This is one of Lynne’s and my favorite ways to do scallops – very easy, and it only takes about 15 minutes to make. I have a little mini food processor that attaches to my immersion blender that I use to make the sauce, but even a simple mortar pestle will work. I only use about 1/2 the pepper, because it can get a little too hot for my wife. I have also made this with red pepper flakes, but that is very hard to regulate the heat! We served this over simple whole grain brown rice, just steamed. I like to deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine, let it reduce, and add it to the sauce, but that is just me…..
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 small fresh hot chile – about 2 inches long, minced fine with the seeds. You can mitigate the heat a bit by scraping out some of the seeds here.
2 1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbs seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbs Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tbs water
Juice from one fresh lime ( about 1 tbs) zest the lime first and reserve the zest for garnish
8 -10 large fresh sea scallops ( remove the tough muscle from the side if necessary)
1 tbs olive oil, and 4 or 5 drops sesame oil
For the Sauce:
Pound garlic, chile, and sugar into a fine paste in a mortar and pestle. Add vinegar, fish sauce, water and lime juice and mix well. ( I pureed everything in my little processor – worked great!) Set sauce aside.
Make rice to the manufacturers directions.
While the rice is cooking, dry scallops with a paper towel, and season with salt and fresh ground pepper
When the rice has about 8 minutes left, heat olive oil in saute pan, seasoning it with a few drops of sesame oil ( a little goes a LONG way). When oil is shimmering, add scallops carefully. Sear scallops without moving for about 3 or 4 minutes, til they start to brown. Turn over once, and do the same to the second side. About 6 or seven minutes total.
Arrange the scallops over rice, pour sauce over and sprinkle with lime zest. Enjoy!!