In Los Angeles we have so many different kinds of ethnic cuisines, you get spoiled having almost anything you want readily available not too far from where you live. It also serves as an inspiration to try different things in my kitchen to see if I can “get it right” with the technique and spices.
I have been thinking about making something with a Thai influence, but not too involved. I came up with a Thai Scallop & Shrimp Curry. It is so flavorful and can be easily made for a quick week night dinner. As with all stir fry dishes, it does require some chopping, which takes the most time, but I try to do it in advance in the morning so I can throw it together when we are ready to eat. I shared this recipe with my friend Jim to try. He improvised and added a few ingredients of his own, asparagus and Hungarian Peppers, to make it a one pot dish, and he said it was the best seafood stir fry he had ever eaten!
I also try to figure out what a great complement would be to a main dish like my Thai curry. In coming up with one for this meal, I wanted a side dish that was crunchy and fresh. My Tomato, Mixed Sprouts and Cucumber Salad was just that – a healthy and refreshing pal to the Thai Scallop & Shrimp Curry. It is also great with indian curries as well.
Thai Scallop & Shrimp Curry
- 3 large limes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped shallots
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen brand)
- 1 13 1/2- to 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
- 16 to 18 oz. sea scallops
- 10 oz. peeled deveined uncooked large shrimp
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- Salt & pepper
- Cayenne pepper (if desired)
Finely grate enough peel from 2 limes to measure 11/2 teaspoons. Squeeze enough juice from 2 limes to measure 2 tablespoons. Cut third lime into wedges.
Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped shallots, diced red bell pepper, and minced ginger and garlic; sauté until shallots are tender and peppers soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, 11/2 teaspoons lime peel, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Simmer gently, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle scallops and shrimp with salt and pepper. In a separate skillet, sear the scallops on both sides and then add along with the shrimp to curry sauce. Return to very gentle simmer and cook just until scallops and shrimp are opaque in center, 5 to 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cayenne for a extra kick if you like. Gently stir in cilantro and basil; serve over basmati rice with lime wedges.
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Tomato, Mixed Sprouts and Cucumber Salad
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 ¼ lb. mixed fresh sprouted beans and lentils (can usually get them at Whole Foods), can also use edamame along with the other sprouted beans
- 1 small red onion, very finely diced
- 1/3 cup grated carrots
- 1/3 cup diced red peppers
- 4 small persian cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Juice of 1 or two lemons (depending on your taste)
- 1 ½ tsp toasted cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- Salt & pepper
Place the tomatoes, sprouts, red onion, carrots, red peppers & cucumber in mixing bowl. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and cumin seeds and pour over the salad. Stir in the chopped herbs and season well with salt & pepper. That’s it!