Succulent and sweet these pan-seared scallops with a golden-brown crust are a restaurant-quality meal that is easier to make than you might think!
Served with a farm-fresh summer corn medley, I promise rave reviews with this easy scallop recipe.
This style of cooking is made for seafood and it’s the best way to cook scallops. My Pan-Seared Halibut and Pan-Seared Barramundi are delicious examples of restaurant-quality recipes that you can easily make in your home kitchen.
Pan-seared scallops are the perfect dish for special occasions, date night, or just to treat yourself and your family to deliciousness from the sea.
What Ingredients do I need to make Pan-Seared Scallops?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make pan-seared scallops. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Getting quality scallops is key to any scallop recipe. Fresh scallops are always my first choice and I always choose large sea scallops. Tiny bay scallops are just a waste of money. They get tough quickly and have little flavor.
How to pan-seared scallops?
- Pat dry scallops with a paper towel. (remove the abductor mussel if it’s still attached to the side of the scallop and discard).
- Season the room temperature scallops on both sides.
- Place the scallops in a single layer into a hot pan (or cast iron skillet) with a light coating of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops allowing a little bit of a brown crust to build up on the scallop, it can take 2-4 minutes depending on the heat and the pan. (do not move the scallops from the first side until you begin to see browning on the side of the scallop edges)
- Turn the scallop to sear the other side and allow it to get a nice sear (use a good metal spatula to get under the scallop so you don’t leave the best part stuck to the pan).
- The scallops will no longer be translucent when they’re done.
*You’ll find that most restaurants serve pan-seared scallops a little on the underdone side, and they’re perfectly fine to eat that way. So err on the side of undercooking rather than overcooking.
How to make Summer Corn Medley?
For this recipe, I blended sweet corn, peaches and rice to make the side dish. But you could always use your favorite vegetable and grain to serve with my pan-seared scallops. Just think of the possibilities.
How to make seasoned rice?
The secret to making really good rice is to use chicken stock (or vegetable stock) instead of water. I always add a tablespoon of butter to the water and just make it as I normally would on the stovetop.
*You can also make rice in the oven if you’re making large amounts. Just add all the ingredients into an oven-safe casserole or pan, cover it with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Stir the rice to fluff it up a bit when it’s finished cooking.
- While the scallops are searing, in another saute pan add the butter, and allow to melt.
- Add the corn and red peppers to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes until partially cooked.
- Add the rice and peaches to the corn mixture and continue cooking on low until the scallops are done (you may need to add a little water to the pan)
- Add the chopped cilantro, and reseason as needed with sea salt and black pepper (feel free to add fresh herbs to the mixture).
- Place the rice on your serving platter or individual dishes topped with the pan-seared scallops.
- Garnish with sliced lime or lemons wedges, chopped red pepper, scallions, and cilantro.
In recipe development, it’s about the presentation as much as it is the flavor. So don’t be afraid to experiment and create your masterpiece for dinner. That golden crust just screams deliciousness!
How do I make pan sauce for the seared scallops?
If you’d like to make a little pan sauce for the scallops, add a splash of white wine to the saute pan to release all of the tasty brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add a little bit of butter and mix the sauce over medium heat, just enough to melt butter and blend it into the wine.
What I like most about pan-searing is that it’s relatively quick and that you can season your scallops with your favorite spices, or keep it simple with sea salt and black pepper.
Just make sure not to overcook the scallops, overcooking is the worst sin against seafood that can be committed. It’s better to have them slightly underdone than overcooked.