Secrets to Super Simple Meals 


Thai Purple Rice with Scallops and Coconut Milk Broth

2 Mins read

When Michael and I competed in the university Iron Chef Battle Rice competition, we used brown basmati and red Himalayan, but there were a few other exotic varieties we didn’t put on our menu. We were curious to try them though, so we got some samples after the competition. One of these was Thai purple rice.

This was one of those times that I should have stuck to the recipe a little more carefully.

Thai Purple Rice with Scallops and Coconut Milk Broth

Original recipe modified from Susan Spicer of Bayona Restaurant in New Orleans

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, grated or finely chopped
    • large sea scallops (3-4 per person)
  • 1 cup purple rice
  • 2 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • Juice of 4 Limes (We didn’t use quite this much, which is probably why we found the broth too sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (We used 1 habanero pepper instead)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • cilantro stems or thai basil stems

Mix 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of lemongrass, and a little salt and pepper, then toss the scallops in this mixture. Set aside until ready to cook.

Put raw purple rice in a strainer and rinse under cold running water for 5 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 2 quart pot and sweat shallots and garlic until tender. Add rice, stir and saute for 2 minutes, then add water, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rice should be tender but still slightly chewy. Keep warm or reheat with a little water and coconut milk.

Heat oil in a 2 quart pot and saute lemongrass, ginger and shallots for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, habanero or sambal oelek, sugar and herb stems, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain and keep warm, or reheat when ready to serve.

Sear the scallops in a hot non-stick skillet, cooking about 2 minutes on the first side, and one minute on the second side. Place a large spoonful of purple rice in each of four shallow bowls, top with the scallops and ladle coconut broth around. Garnish with cilantro, scallions or fried shallots.

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