Miso-Brown Butter Sea Scallops
with a Lemongrass Coconut Curry Sauce
This recipe brings restaurant-level food to your home kitchen. High on flavor but easy on execution, the scallops and sauce are equally simple to prepare. The scallops marinate for 10 minutes and cook for just 3 minutes. The coconut curry sauce comes together in fewer than 15 minutes, making this a true 30-minute meal. ILOC tip: red curry paste can be swapped for the green variety; it will taste more or less the same, but the color will be different.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; mixing bowl; whisk; nonreactive shallow pan; saucepan; wooden spoon; large sauté pan; tongs or fish spatula
Ingredients for the sea scallops: 1 pound sea scallops, approximately 20-24 1/3 cup mirin
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow miso
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 scallions, sliced on bias (for garnish)
Ingredients for the sauce: 1/3 cup mirin ¼ cup fresh lemongrass, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped ¼ cup dry white wine 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk ½ cup heavy cream* 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
1. To prepare the scallops, combine the mirin, sake, tamari, miso, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Place the scallops in a nonreactive dish in a single layer. Pour the marinade over the scallops. Cover, refrigerate for 10 minutes, turning the fish once at the 5-minute mark.
2. To prepare the sauce, place the mirin, lemongrass and ginger in a medium heavy saucepan. Boil for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced to ¼ cup. Add the wine and boil until reduced again to ¼ cup, for another 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cream. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium. Then stir in the curry paste and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Reserve.
To make the scallops:
1. Pat the scallops dry on the cutting board using a paper towel. Sprinkle the tops and bottoms generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade.
2. Place the butter in a cold sauté pan and melt over high heat. Once the butter has melted and begins to foam, add 2 tablespoons of the marinade and swirl to coat the pan. Add the sea scallops. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side to achieve a golden brown surface without overcooking.
3. Drizzle a shallow puddle of the sauce on 4 plates. Remove the scallops from the pan and divide evenly among the four plates. Drizzle with any remaining brown butter from the scallop pan.
4. Sprinkle with the sliced scallions and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
*If you want to eliminate the heavy cream, use one whole can of coconut milk, instead 1 cup coconut milk and ½ cup heavy cream.