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+ servings

Curry Sauce for Sea Scallops

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Sauces
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4 - 6 servings


For the Vietnamese Tangerine Marinade:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red jalapeno seeded, ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons tangerine juice
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup nuoc mam vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin sweet rice cooking wine

For the Yellow Curry Sauce

  • 14 ounces coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry paste
  • tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon roux

For the Scallops

  • 2 pounds scallops rinsed, side muscle removed
  • 6 ounces Vietnamese tangerine marinade
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

For Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped


For the Marinade

  • Combine garlic, jalapeno, sugar, and the juices in the blender and liquefy.
  • Add the vinegar, fish sauce and mirin. Blend for 5 seconds.
  • Can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
  • A dried pequin pepper can be used if red jalapenos are out of season.

For the Curry Sauce

  • Combine the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the roux, stir briskly and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

For the Scallops

  • Thoroughly rinse the sea scallops and remove the tough little muscle that clings to the side of each one.
  • Place them in a bowl large enough to hold the scallops and the marinade for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the scallops, and discard the marinade.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a large heavy skillet until just about smoking point.
  • Place the scallops in the skillet, making sure that they lie on one of their flat surfaces. Sear them for about 4 minutes, and turn them over for 2-3 more minutes.

To Serve

  • Place 2-3 ounces of curry sauce on one side of four warm plates.
  • Remove the scallops from the pan and place them on the pool of sauce.
  • Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
  • Serve with steamed or fried rice, and steamed broccoli with lemon butter.


Vietnamese fish sauce can be found in most major supermarkets in the oriental food section.
Yellow curry paste and fish sauce can be found in most supermarkets and gourmet food shops, as well as in an Asian market if you live near a city. This sauce can be made hotter by adding more of the prepared paste. Start off easy, adding more as you go. The sauce gets its beautiful yellow color from the tumeric in the paste.