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Chili and Basil Scallops

Recipe by Mighty Spice Cookbook author, John Gregory-Smith
For many years my brother Tom has been a loyal eating companion of mine, a wingman, who loves his food and is also real fun to go out with. Annoyingly he’s moved to Hong Kong with his lovely wife Rachel to live, which makes dinner a bit more difficult to organize. Tom’s first choice whenever we do get to go out is something with scallops, so these beautiful, Asian-inspired scallops are here to keep him happy. Now all he has to do is cook them for me.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Servings 4


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound 2 oz scallops, with or without roe attached
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black
  • pepper
  • 2 large handfuls basil leaves, roughly chopped


  • Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. When smoking hot, chuck in the garlic and red chilies and stir-fry 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the onion and stir-fry 1 minute, then tip in the scallops and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until the scallops start to turn golden at the edges.
  • Pour in the soy sauce and fish sauce and sprinkle in the sugar and black pepper. Mix well and stir-fry 1 minute, or until the scallops are just cooked through and tender.
  • Throw in the basil leaves, mix well and serve immediately. You can use scallop shells for presentation, if you like.
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