The Secret Behind Perfectly Seared Scallops


Scallops tend to be one of those dishes most of us only think about when we go out to eat. After all, they’re so sophisticated, seemingly obscure even within the wide world of seafood, and the taste and texture can be sublime to the point of convincing us it that it must take a culinary degree to cook them properly.

Not so, friends! YOU can make exquisite seared scallops right in your very own kitchen: all you need is a skillet, a little time (and we mean “little” ‘cause these little oceanic jewels cook up quickly!), and some high quality scallops. We can’t emphasize this last point enough because beginning with good scallops goes a long way toward a good searing. In fact, if you’ve tried making these at home before with less-than-stellar results, think back to what kind of scallops you used- were they previously frozen? Were they soaked in tri-polyphosphate chemicals? Both of these practices are VERY common in the seafood industry and they present huge hurdles in the kitchen; if your scallops contain chemicals, you simply won’t achieve the glorious brown sear you’re aiming for because the one prevents the other. These kinds of scallops are known as “wet scallops”.

We source our sea scallops, which are called “dry scallops” because they’re not exposed to chemicals, from Foley Fish in Massachusetts, who in turn source them from highly reputable fisherman. These particular scallops are harvested from the Georges Bank, right off the New England coastline, and are NEVER frozen/NEVER treated to chemicals (which make them very rare and very delicious). They are, in fact, the best scallops you can get and the perfect way to start your searing adventure!

Ready to dive in? Stop by our Seafood Department, grab yourself some Georges Bank Dry Sea Scallops, and give this recipe a whirl. We bet the outcome will be fabulous!

Seared Scallops with Sesame and Scallions
1 lb sea scallops
2-3 Tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic; minced
3 inches gingerroot; minced
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1-2 scallions; cut thin
Chili oil, if desired

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and oil and set aside. Heat a straight-sided pan to medium heat and add half the butter. Once butter is hot, add scallops and sear for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Flip, add remaining butter, and cook until brown. Remove scallops from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add garlic and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, stirring constantly. Add soy mixture and simmer for 1-2 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Add scallops and turn off heat. Sprinkle with scallions and serve. Add chili oil if desired.