Simple yet thoroughly delicious, these Vietnamese Grilled Scallops are full of melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Like heaven on a shell, they’re the perfect appetiser or seafood snack. This is one of the easiest meals we’ve stumbled across in Vietnam.
The perfect lunch by the beach, grill these bad boys with amazing spring onion and peanuts for the TASTIEST Vietnamese Grilled Scallops you can imagine.
Quy Nhon would have to be the least touristic town we’ve ever visited. I doubt that many western tourists venture there, judging by the celebrity treatment we received the minute we arrived. Almost everywhere we went, people smiled, waved, and called out ‘Hello!’
It was a nice change from the usual calls of ‘Hey lady! Moto-bike? Taxi!?’
We’d set out that day in search of something different for lunch, so keen to try something we’d read about online that we walked over two kilometres in the blazing heat to get there. Dodging bikes and busy market stalls, we turned the corner and stopped dead, our hopes dashed.
The restaurant was very, very closed.
Deciding not to give up hope, we headed to the beach to see what we could find along the foreshore instead. If we didn’t find anything good, at least we could enjoy the amazing views across the gorgeous, deserted beach.
And that’s where we found these amazing Vietnamese Grilled Scallops.
Normally we would avoid beachside restaurants altogether. In bigger cities they normally cater to hordes of tourists which prices to match. Not so in Quy Nhon.
Managing to score a table at one of the busiest restaurants we’d seen in town, we settled in amongst the locals and ordered this huge plate of scallops.
They came out to the table in all their freshly grilled glory, looking like something out of a seafood lover’s dream. Grilled in peanut oil and dressed in chopped spring onion and roasted peanuts, the flavour was simple yet the texture was absolute melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
They sure didn’t last long.
Within one bite, the scallops shot up to the top of Sarah’s all-time favourite foods list. Well, for Vietnam at least. 😉
I’m not usually one to go straight for the seafood, but in this case I couldn’t get enough of these scrumptious scallops, especially when slathered in the amazing chilli/lime dipping sauce.
They were seriously so good, we just had to go up to the owners and, using our limited Vietnamese vocab and super-sophisticated hand gestures (ha!), plead for them to spill the beans on their delicious recipes.
Why had we never heard of Vietnamese Grilled Scallops before?
Just look at them!
We’d never come across this scallops + peanut flavour combination in all our wandering travels, and it blew our minds. Have you tried anything like this before?
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- 12 scallops
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2-3 spring onions finely chopped
- 3 tbsp roasted peanuts crushed
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1-2 chillies birds eye, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp kaffir lime juice
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp water
- Pound garlic, chillies and sugar to a fine paste with a mortar and pestle. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar and water and stir until combined. (Alternatively, blend ingredients together in a blender.) Place in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the scallops on a barbecue or grill, and cook on a medium high heat for about 5 minutes until they open.
- While the scallops are cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chopped spring onion. Simmer for a few minutes to release the flavour, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Once the scallops open, remove the top shell and discard. Top each scallop with a teaspoon of the spring onion oil and roasted crushed peanuts.
- Continue to cook for a further two minutes until the spring onion oil begins to simmer.
- Transfer to a plate and serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
- Don't forget the magicial chilli/lime dipping sauce!