Servings: Serves 8
To make curry paste: Place all ingredients in a food processor. Add 4 to 5 tablespoons water; blend well until forms a smooth paste. Makes about 10 tablespoons.
To make scallops: With minimal disturbance, carefully open both cans of coconut milk. From each can, remove 4 tablespoons of thick cream that has accumulated on top; set aside. Blend remaining contents well; set aside.
Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a large, nonstick frying pan or sauté pan set over medium heat. When oil is hot, add coconut cream and green curry paste. Stir-fry until oil separates and paste is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add fish sauce, tamarind paste (or lemon juice), sugar, reserved coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons water. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Taste for balance of flavors, adding more fish sauce, sugar, or tamarind paste (or lemon juice), if needed. Remove from heat.
Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a separate, large, nonstick pan set over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot, add half the scallops in a single layer. Brown lightly on one side, then carefully turn over and brown opposite side. Remove cooked scallops to a bowl and brown remaining raw scallops the same way, using remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
Heat sauce, put in scallops, and stir. Cook gently until scallops are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Before serving, tear kaffir lime leaves or lemon rind (or remove vein from leaves and cut into fine strips) and scatter with whole basil leaves over scallops.
From the August 2006 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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