Sambal Pasta with Masala Seared Scallops

Updated: Jun 5

As I had shared before about my most kept secret of cooking pasta. Well, not a secret anymore. No unnecessary large pot of water and without the need to season the water with loads of salt. Lesser cooking time too. Just the right amount of creaminess without any cream or extra cheeses added. It all boils down to very simple calculations of math and science; all you need are 2 skillets and good quality pasta.

Perhaps I will talk more about the quality of pasta in the future. Because it does makes a lot of difference. Anyway, this recipe popped into my mind while I was searching for ways to incorporated sambal into pasta. I was thinking why not fused Chinese, Indo & Italian into 1 cohesive dish. And the rest is history.

I added some masala seared scallops for some je ne sais quoi to the pasta. You can of cos skip the scallops and the pasta will still be yummilicious by its own. Or should I say, pastalicious? Lol! The full recipe is up on Cookpad and I will be making this series available as an E-Cookbook shortly. Please stay tuned.


(Serve 2)

  • Pasta:

  • Spaghetti / Any Pasta Of Your Choice

  • Hot Water

  • Sea Salt

  • Sauce:

  • Olive Oil

  • Ginger Finely Minced

  • Garlic Finely Minced

  • Tomato Puree / Ketchup

  • Kecap Manis

  • Rice Wine / ShaoXing Wine

  • @chillibellasg’s Sambal

  • Scallops:

  • Canola / Sunflower / Grapeseed / Peanut Oil

  • Scallops

  • Sea Salt

  • Your Favourite Masala (I am using Madras Curry Powder)

  • Ghee

  • Scallions / Coriander / Parsley Finely Sliced


  • 2 Cast Iron Skillet / Pan


  1. Please visit my "How To Make Madras Curry Powder" page for the recipe.

  2. Please visit my "How To Make Sambal" page if you wanna make your own sambal.

  3. You will need 2 skillets or pans to prepare this dish.

  4. Prepare the pasta.

  5. In a skillet or pan over medium heat, add pasta & hot water.

  6. Season the water with some salt.

  7. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.

  8. In another skillet or pan over medium heat, add olive oil.

  9. Once the oil is heated up, add in ginger & garlic.

  10. Sauté until aromatic.

  11. Add in tomato puree, kecap manis, @chillibellasg’s Sambal & rice wine.

  12. Remove from heat.

  13. Stir to combine well.

  14. Assemble.

  15. By the time the sauce is done, the pasta should just be under al dente.

  16. Transfer the sauce into the skillet with the pasta.

  17. *Do not drain the pasta. The pasta water will create creaminess to the sauce.*

  18. Toss to combine well.

  19. Remove from heat & set aside.

  20. Prepare the scallops.

  21. Season the scallops with masala & salt on both sides, making sure the scallops are well coated.

  22. In a skillet or pan over medium heat, add oil.

  23. Once the oil reaches the smoking point, add in the scallops, 1 at a time.

  24. Add in ghee, tilt the skillet or pan & baste the scallops with all the liquid until 3/4 way cooked thru’.

  25. Flip & cook for another 15 seconds.

  26. To serve.

  27. Just as you are about to serve, return back the pasta back onto the heat.

  28. Cook for another 30 secs or until the pasta starts to loosen up.

  29. Serve the scallops on top of the pasta.

  30. Garnish with some scallions.

  31. Serve immediately.

Pro Tip:

  • If you are not residing in Singapore, you can replace the sambal with any chili or hot sauce of your preference. Harissa, Sambal Oelek, or Thai Red Chili Sauce will be awesome as well.

  • If you can't get your hands on kecap manis, mix equal parts of soy sauce & molasses.

Recipe Video:

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