laksa-style scallops with sweet chilli saucerating:
it seems that Tom Cruise, David Letterman and Jamie Oliver cooked this on The Late Show this week!
Yield: 4 Servings
3 limes, zested and halved
11 oz. peeled shrimp, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2-3 fresh red chillies, deseeded
3 cloves of garlic
A large thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
A large handful of fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks reserved
1 tablespoon sesame oil
A small handful of kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
2 14 oz. cans of unsweetened coconut milk
2/3 cup chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 oz. noodles or rice
Optional: 4 finely sliced spring onions or 1 bunch of mustard cress, chopped
Put the lime zest into a bowl with your shrimp. Squeeze over the juice of 2 of the limes and add your fish sauce. Mix well, and leave to marinate for about 10 minutes. In a pestle and mortar or a food processor, pound or blitz the chillies, garlic, ginger, coriander stalks, sesame oil and lime leaves until you have a paste. Heat a large casserole or wok, pour in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and add the paste, stirring quickly. Cook for about a minute before adding your shrimp and all the flavorful juices from the bowl. Allow to cook for another minute, stirring. Then add the tamarind paste, coconut milk and chicken stock. Turn the heat down and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes. Taste – you may need to add salt and pepper or more fish sauce, and just enough lime juice to give it a good twang, as Asian food should be hot, salty, sweet and sour.
Get a pot of water boiling for your noodles or rice. Now lightly score the scallops with a criss-cross pattern on one side so that when they cook they will open out to look like flowers. Get a large non-stick frying pan hot and pour in a little olive oil. Put your lightly seasoned scallops into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Halfway through, add the noodles or rice to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions.
Remove the scallops from the heat. Drain the noodles or rice and divide between four serving bowls, spooning the laksa stew over the top. Sprinkle with the coriander leaves – or you can try some finely sliced spring onions or some cress to give a bit of a crunch. Then lay two or three scallops on top of each bowl. Lovely served with a dollop of sweet chili jam, which you can buy just about everywhere these days.