Recipe: Easy Seared Scallops | chicago foodie girl


Recipe: Easy Seared Scallops

I have a love/hate relationship with scallops; while I love eating them, I tend to hate cooking them. Fresh scallops that are cooked properly are sweet, buttery, and will practically melt in your mouth. Fresh scallops that are just slightly overcooked are like little fishy, chewy hockey pucks. Let me just say that once you've experienced them, it's hard to get the fear of cooking scallops and ending up with those chewy pucks out of your mind. Yuck.

I stopped by Fresh Farms International Market the other day (that place is awesome!) and was enticed by a special deal on some beautiful scallops. I decided it was time to give my scallop cooking skills another try. I used a recipe for seared scallops from Alton Brown (slightly modified) that I saw on an episode of Good Eats years ago and I'm proud to say that I ended up with a really amazing dish. The scallops had a lovely caramel coating on the outside and were tender and buttery on the inside.

If you've never cooked scallops or you just want a simplistic way to prepare them that will really allow for the flavor of the scallops to shine, I highly recommend this easy recipe!

Seared Scallops

1 to 1 1/4 lbs dry sea scallops (approximately 16)
2 tsp unsalted butter
2 tsp olive oil
Truffle salt (the original recipe calls for Kosher salt, but the truffle salt gives it a really lovely flavor)
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry (this is especially important - do not try to sear wet scallops or else they will burn!).

2. Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch sauté pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops.

3. Once the pans begin to slightly smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4 inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Remember that the scallops will cook very quickly - keep a close eye on them and do not cook them for more than 2 minutes on each side or else you will end up with chewy hockey pucks!



  1. I cook mine the same way except I shred a garlic clove to put in with the butter/oil. :)

  2. This looks so very "interesting." I have this love-hate relationship with seafood. Mostly, it hates me, and can make me violently ill.

    That minor messiness aside, your blog is looking good!

  3. I LOVE seared sea scallops. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  4. I love scallops. My husband won't eat them, and when I once asked him why, he said he couldn't bring himself to, because of their scary blue eyes. I thought he was insane, until I googled for images (scallops + blue + eyes). They do look pretty alien! 

  5. @Rachel: OMG, I know! They are sooo creepy! I feel the same way about calamari - I love it, but I cannot bring myself to eat the tentacles because they weird me out. 

  6. I enjoy eating scallops but never really used them except in seafood stew or paella. Simple and light recipe - love it!

  7. Oooh -- mouth-watering. I'm addicted to scallops, no doubt about that, but I've never attempted to cook them at home. Thanks for the inspiration! Will definitely bookmark so I don't wind up with the hockey-puck version... ack.

  8. Wow your scallops look perfect! I love them but have never cooked them myself. Your recipe looks easy enough for a scallop newbie like me. Thank for sharing!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog. These scallops look great. I have noticed too that if I overcook them, they are very tough and rubbery. I love that grilled crust on yours...Yum!!


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