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Spice Up Your Dinner Plans With These Chile and Lime Bay Scallops

This is a super flavorful side or entrée, perfect for weekday or weekend meals.

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This is a super simple and fast way to make a bright and flavorful side. To serve this as an entrée, you can put it on top of cooked pasta. Small bay scallops are usually affordable and easy to find at the grocery store. Large scallops work as well—just double the cooking time.

Vindaloo Spice Mix

Vindaloo is a classic Indian spice mix with robust peppery and bright flavors. At the Little Curry Shop it’s one of our most popular items, used to season any meat or vegetable dish with an intense peppery flavor. This is a large batch that will keep for a long time. You can adjust for heat by using less of the spicy items. Makes about 2½ cups.

1 cup paprika
½ cup whole coriander seeds
½ cup dried whole Asian red chiles
¼ cup chili powder
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1½ teaspoons turmeric
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon dry cilantro
2 teaspoons mango powder (optional)

Toast all of the ingredients in a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat until the larger seeds are golden and there is a warm fragrance coming from the pan. Do not let it smoke! Remove from heat, let cool, then grind thoroughly in a blender or spice mill until you have a coarse powder.

Note: The key ingredients in vindaloo are coriander, paprika, salt, pepper, and heat. Everything else is basically optional. The mango powder adds tartness, but if you can’t get mango powder you can simply add some vinegar or lemon juice when finishing your dish.

Chile and Lime–Spiced Bay Scallops

  • Serves: 6


  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • ¼ cup rice flour mixed with 1 teaspoon Vindaloo Spice Mix or 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sprinkle of dry red chile or red pepper flakes
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Chopped fresh chives


  1. Step 1

    Begin by trimming the “foot,” or tough tissue, off of the side of the scallops. (This is more prominent if you are working with larger scallops.) Rinse scallops and gently pat dry with paper towels. Lightly dust the scallops in the rice flour mixture on all sides.

  2. Step 2

    Heat a sauté pan over high heat, adding just enough coconut oil to coat the bottom. Gently sear the scallops for approximately 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Use tongs to carefully flip them over and cook the second side for another 1–2 minutes, or until the scallops are white in the center. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Step 3

    In a small mixing bowl, combine the green onions, cilantro, and dry red chile or red pepper flakes. Add this mixture and the remaining coconut oil to the pan and stir gently.

  4. Step 4

    Plate the scallops and finish with fresh-squeezed lime juice and fresh chives.

Per serving:
Scallops – Calories 91, Protein 10 g, Carbs 7 g, Fat 3 g, Fiber 0 g, Sodium 304 mg
Vindaloo Spice Mix – (1 tbsp.) Calories 15, Protein 0 g, Carbs 3 g, Fat 0 g, Fiber 3 g, Sodium 123 mg

Adapted from Feed Zone Table: Family-Style Meals to Nourish Life and Sport by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim, with permission of VeloPress.