Soak the bamboo skewers in water.
Drain the scallops well, rinse, and set aside.
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the cilantro, garlic, and shallots to a paste. Add the white pepper, coriander, and curry. Stir and pound to blend the dry and wet ingredients. You can use a small food processor to achieve the same result. Add the oil, fish sauce, and sugar to achieve the desired saltiness and sweetness. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.
Pat the scallops dry with a towel and coat with the seasoning mixture. Set aside to marinate for a half hour or so.
Skewer the scallops on the wet bamboo sticks, saving the remaining marinade.
Grill over the hot mesquite charcoals, with the grill positioned very close to the coals.
Add the coconut milk to the marinade remaining in the bowl and use it to baste the scallops while they cook.
Grill for about two or three minutes on each side, or until the scallops are done to your liking. Do not turn too frequently. The scallops should brown and char lightly. Baste with each turning.
Hot and Tangy Dipping Sauce
10 to 15 dried chile peppers
3 to 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
juice of 1 lime
2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Chopped cilantro leaves to taste
Cut the stem tip off of the dried chiles and place them in a bowl. Do not remove the seeds. Add tap water to cover. Soak for about 30 minutes, or until the chiles are softened. Chop finely.
Reduce the garlic to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the softened chiles. Pound well to blend, then add the vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar, then adjust the flavors according to your taste. The final product should be a balance between salty, sweet, and sour.
Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro.