Do you ever have those moments when you suddenly remember a meal that you had years ago? I always have those moments. Just the other day, I found myself reminiscing about a red curry seafood risotto I had at a Mediterranean restaurant. This dish was a fusion of Italian and Thai cuisines, combining Thai spices with creamy arborio rice. I truly enjoyed it. So as a nod to that Mediterranean restaurant, here is my version with shrimp and scallops topped with Thai basil and served with lime. It's quite delightful if I do say so myself.
Red Curry Seafood Risotto
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 ounces shrimp peeled, deveined
- 8 ounces scallops
- ½ medium onion diced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 Thai chile minced (optional)
- 1 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 ½ cups chicken or seafood stock warm
- ½ cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- lime wedges for serving
- Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a deep saute pan. Pat dry the shrimp and scallops and season with salt and pepper. Sear the shrimp in the saute pan for 3-4 minutes or until cooked and bright pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, sear the scallops until golden brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon in the same pan and saute the onion until softened and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, Thai chile, and red curry paste and saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the rice and stir to coat in the red curry paste.
- Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer the rice until all of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add another ½ cup of stock and continue to simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock.
- Add the coconut milk and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. By now the rice should be fully cooked. Season the rice with salt and pepper and top the shrimp and scallops of time. Garnish the red curry seafood risotto with chopped basil and serve with lime wedges.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
My husband isn't a big fan of risotto because he thinks it's too cheesy. So, to avoid having an overly heavy dish, I decided to make this red curry seafood risotto. This dish is a beautiful combination of Thai flavors with a classic Italian dish.
To make the dish, start by searing the shrimp and scallops. Heat oil in a deep pan and cook the shrimp until they're bright and pink. Remove the shrimp and sear the scallops until golden brown. Set the seafood aside while you cook the risotto.
In the same pan, saute the onion until it's softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the aromatics including the onion, garlic, ginger, Thai chile, and red curry paste, and saute for another minute. If your red curry paste is already spicy, you can omit the Thai chile.
Then, add the arborio rice and stir it with the seasonings to coat each and every grain.
Add 1 cup of warm chicken or seafood stock to the pot and let it simmer slowly over medium-low heat. Stir the rice frequently, allowing it to cook evenly. Make sure you use warm stock throughout the cooking process, which thorough even cooking.
Keep adding stock bit by bit once the liquid evaporates, making sure to stir the risotto every few minutes. Once you've finished adding all of the stock, add the coconut milk and cook until the rice is tender.
Season the red curry seafood risotto, add the cooked shrimp and scallops on top and finish with fresh chopped basil. Squeeze a bit of fresh lime and dinner is served.
I'll be honest, I can't remember if this is exactly like the one I had at the Mediterranean restaurant, but it sure is tasty! The red curry adds a wonderful spice that balances the creamy rice. The fresh basil and lime juice also add another layer of flavors to the dish. Overall a success in my book!