Seared Scallops with Red Pepper Jam

These are very hot little firecrackers from the orient. They can be used to add spice to almost any oriental dish. They dry very easily and can be stored and used this way for a long time.

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Red Pepper Jam:

4 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaping teaspoon of finely chopped fresh ginger root
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 red Thai chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2-1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. fish sauce
sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 lime


12 scallops, rinsed and trimmed
sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
1-1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup chopped roasted cashews
fresh cilantro and mint leaves
1 lime, cut in wedges


To make the jam:

Combine the red peppers, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chile peppers, brown sugar and fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Cook the ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time, until the peppers and onion are soft and caramelized, about 1 hour. Watch carefully to ensure the jam does not scorch. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and sugar. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime juice, then set aside to cool.

To prepare the scallops:

When the jam has cooled to room temperature, season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper and heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the scallops and brown them lightly on each side, about 2 minutes, and continue cooking until they are cooked through. Add more oil to the skillet as needed and continue cooking in batches until all the scallops are cooked.

To serve:

Divide the scallops among four plates and spoon some of the red pepper jam over the scallops. Sprinkle each plate with some cashews, cilantro and mint leaves. Serve the plates with wedges of fresh lime.

Recipe from Whole Foods Market.