When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
The sun peeked out and suddenly it feels like spring here. The temporary illusion gives me a bit of comfort and cheer. I’ll take it. This simple recipe for Seared Scallops with fragrant Lemongrass Coconut Sauce with lime and fresh basil has a similar effect on me. It brightens the spirit with its fragrant aroma and sunny disposition. Fresh lemongrass and lime zest infuse the coconut milk and whenever I get a whiff, I feel uplifted. I am finding it truly is hard to feel somber around a lime.
Serve the seared scallops over rice then spoon the flavorful lemongrass coconut sauce over top, sprinkling with fresh basil ribbons and lime zest.
It’s an easy healthy recipe that can be adapted — serve the sauce with chicken, sea bass, prawns, or tofu seared in the same way.
For a little extra burst of sunshine, add kaffir lime leaves to the rice and to the coconut sauce. If you can’t track them down, don’t worry, the recipe works without as well.
Be sure the smash the lemongrass, exposing the flavorful insides. Then simmer it along with the lemon zest in the coconut milk.
Use both the lime zest and the juice.
Give scallops a quick rinse, then pat them dry with paper towels.
Season with salt and pepper and sear for just a few minutes on each side.
Serve them over the rice, in the sauce itself, or plated — with the sauce underneath.
Happy weekend to you.
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 4 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass (about 4-5 inches), smashed
- 2 thin slices ginger (optional)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 large lime - zest and juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
- few slices red chili (optional)
- 1 - 1 ¼ pound large scallops (about 4 ounces per person, or 3-4 large scallops )
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil for searing (or vegetable oil)
- salt and pepper
- 8 leaves of fresh basil - cut into thin ribbons
- Serve with cooked rice and sriracha.
- Kaffir lime leaves (optional) - see notes below
- Put a small pot of rice to cook on stove.
- In a small sauce pan, simmer shallot in vinegar on low heat, until vinegar reduces almost completely, about 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, ½ of the lime zest (save the rest for garnish) the smashed lemongrass and the ginger, and simmer gently on medium low heat for 5 minutes. Do not over boil. Stir in 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce and 1 tablespoon lime juice, turn the heat off and taste. Adjust with more lime or fish sauce if you want. Add a few slices of fresh red chili for heat. Set aside and let flavors infuse while the rice is cooking.
- Gently rinse and pat dry scallops. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. When the skillet is hot add the scallops and sear each side 2-3 minutes (depending on the size). When done to your liking, set aside and give a little squeeze of lime.
- When ready to serve, warm up the sauce just a bit, and strain.
- Assemble the bowls. Divide rice, top with scallops, then spoon the flavorful lemongrass coconut sauce over top, garnishing with fresh basil ribbons and remaining lime zest.
- Enjoy it!
- Notes: For added heat, serve with sriracha sauce. If you are able find Thai basil, this would work great here. If you have access to kaffir lime leaves, drop a couple in your rice water and the coconut sauce. Kaffir lime leaves can be frozen, and I always try to have some on hand in my freezer. The recipe tastes good without them, so don't let this stop you if you can't find any. The recipe is enough for 4 servings, but if cooking for two, cut back on the scallops, but make the same amount of sauce.... as you will want to pour any extra over your rice.