Succulent scallops stir-fried with garlic, red chilies, and fresh basil — this is what we had for our Valentine’s Day dinner last week!
While I enjoy ordering scallops at restaurants, I’ve always been scared to make them at home. There’s that fine line between cooked and “ruined,” and knowing my luck I would probably head toward the latter.
But guess what? I didn’t ruin these! That is all due to Mr. Spice hovering over me telling me “They’re done now. They’re done now. THEY’RE DONE!!”
I used this recipe for my inspiration and tweaked heavily to reflect what I had at home. Huge tip: have everything ready to go, because you have to move FAST.
Chili Basil Scallops
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I wouldn’t use sesame, since it would overpower the scallops)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 dried red chilies, sliced into rounds and de-seeded
3 scallions, sliced length-wise into strips
1 pound fresh jumbo scallops (mine were 2 oz each)
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
1. Heat oil in large skillet or wok over high heat.
2. When oil is hot, add garlic and red chilies and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add scallions, stir-fry for about a minute, then add scallops. Continue stir-frying for a couple minutes, so that scallops begin turning golden.
3. Add soy sauce and stir-fry about another minute, or until the scallops are just done and still tender. It helps if you have Mr. Spice yelling at you to take them off the heat NOW.
4. Add the chopped basil leaves and incorporate into the mixture. Serve immediately. I garnished the scallops with a couple whole dried red chilis for fun, but you don’t have to do that.
Once I removed the scallops, I quickly stir-fried some fresh baby spinach in the remaining oil in the pan, which had become infused with the garlic, red chili, and basil.
You can use shrimp, fish, or chicken instead of the scallops.