Caramel-coated seafood sounds unlikely, I realize, but keep in mind this is Vietnamese caramel sauce: savory and bitter, it’s not at all like candy. Thankfully.
This wasn’t entirely my favorite way of eating scallops (panfried, wrapped in bacon, holds that honor), but we’d been looking for ways to use the caramel sauce Jon made awhile back, and it made for a very quick and interesting dinner. The sauce was made from a recipe in Andrea Nguyen’s Vietnamese cookbook, and the braised scallops were done more or less according to Molly Stevens’ book – basically, heating the caramel, adding fish sauce and shallots, putting in sea scallops and covering until just cooked through, mixing in chopped scallions, then dumping it all over white rice. The flavor was rich, and not nearly as salty as you’d think from looking at it. A plate of paper-thin slices of cucumber was a nice accompaniment, along with a sparkling low-alcohol Riesling.
I might consider making the sauce again, but maybe with halibut instead of scallops. Or if I did use scallops, I think I’d pan-sear them instead of braising. It’s hard to resist a seared scallop. Even if it doesn’t have bacon on it.