• Seared Scallops with Green Curry & Spinach


Spice It Up

My homemade curry paste gives an herby fragrance and depth to this delicious, spicy Thai-style curry with scallops.

Seared Scallops with Green Curry & Spinach

Servings: 6

Total: 1 hour



  • 3 tablespoons fragrant peanut oil
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • Salt
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup Keow Wan green curry paste
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime zest, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds large diver sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Keow Wan Green Curry Paste

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 7 black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulb only, chopped
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 green Thai chiles, stemmed and chopped
  • One 1  1/2-inch piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon Thai shrimp paste
  • Salt


In a large, high-sided skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil until simmering. Add half of the spinach and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until slightly wilted. Add the remaining spinach and cook, tossing, until wilted. Season with salt and transfer to a colander to drain.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and onion and stir-fry over moderately high heat until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the coconut milk, green curry paste (recipe below) and sugar and simmer over moderate heat until the carrots are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice and fish sauce; season with white pepper. Transfer the curry sauce to a bowl.

In a clean large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil until shimmering. Season the scallops with salt and add half of them to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned and just white throughout, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet. Repeat with the remaining 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and scallops.

Mound the spinach on 6 plates. Top with the curry sauce and scallops. Garnish with the chopped peanuts and lime zest and serve immediately.

Keow Wan Green Curry Paste

In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns over moderately high heat until fragrant and beginning to pop, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Grind to a powder.

In a food processor, combine the spice powder with all of the remaining ingredients except the salt and process to a paste. Season with salt.

MAKE AHEAD The fresh curry paste can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Stephanie Meyer.

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