If you are not quite certain about making your own pan seared scallops recipe, then this is a great first scallops recipe to use! Simple, savoring and delicious while using whole food ingredients.
Definitely cheaper than going out to a restaurant, this pan fried scallops recipe is absolutely delicious all on it’s own. But then, I paired it with a little strawberry cucumber salad and a bit of spicy homemade mayo. More on this in a minute.
Seafood Recipes are a Blog Favorite
With so many shrimp and fish recipes here at the blog, it was about time that I give some attention to the delectable scallop. Everyone tells us how much they love our garlicky Mojo Shrimp Skillet and Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles. So, let’s learn a bit more about scallops and then dive into the recipe.
Pan Seared Scallops Recipe with Fresh Fruit Salsa
If I was hesitant at one time to cook scallops, I’m sure you may have been intimidated at one time too. Considering that scallops cost quite a bit more than a piece of fish or shrimp and not exactly an ingredient that you want to go to waste. This dish is practically full proof. It’s simple, uses whole food ingredients but comes with robust flavor while letting the pan seared scallops shine.
How to Prepare Fresh Scallops
When shopping for fresh scallops, you want to find the scallop already shucked and the attached roe (the orangish colored piece) removed. Some people do like the taste of roe, but it has a bit of a bitter flavor. If you only find fresh scallops with the roe still attached, you can pull it off and discard it.
If you purchase whole scallops, you will need to shuck them and remove the muscle that attaches to the shell.
How to Thaw Frozen Scallops
For those of you that purchase frozen scallops, you’ll want to plan ahead to thaw them out. Place the frozen scallops in a bowl of cold water and allow them to thought completely. I typically place our scallops in the fridge overnight for the best result. However, you can keep refreshing the bowl with cold water every few minutes for up to 20 minutes if you’re in a hurry.
When you’re ready to pan sear the scallops, pat them dry with a paper towel to absorb all of the liquid before searing. You definitely do not want to toss frozen or wet scallops into a hot pan with oil.
How to Cook our Pan Seared Scallops recipe
Scallops literally take four to five minutes to cook. Yes, that’s it. So, be sure to prepare the strawberry-cucumber salsa and spicy mayonnaise before you turn on your skillet. Or, if you’re planning to pair these pan seared scallops with a summer salad, be sure it’s ready to go.
How to Cook Scallops
The key to the perfectly cooked pan seared scallops is using a high quality organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s). To learn more about what oils are best for cooking with, read this article.
- Using a large 12″ cast iron skillet, like this one, add a few tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil and turn the stove on to high heat.
- Once the skillet is very hot and the coconut oil is melted (tilt the pan to coat in oil), gently add 1 scallop. It should immediately sizzle as soon as it’s in the oil. If it doesn’t, wait and let the coconut oil continue heating up before adding anymore.
- Add the rest of the scallops to the hot oil and make sure they are not touching each other.
- Sear the scallops for about 2 minutes and then flip to the other side. Searing for an additional 2 minutes.
- The scallops should have a golden seared outer appearance and translucent in the center.
The pan seared scallops should be firm to the touch, but still slightly soft when you gentle push down on them.
Pan Seared Scallops Recipe
Pan Seared Scallops recipe is perfect for anyone that love seafood paired with the perfect blend of savory and sweet. Dinner or appetizer!
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 ½ pounds large sea scallops, rinsed with very cold water and patted dry
- Unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s)
- 1 ½ teaspoons organic, grass-fed ghee (can substitute with coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- Juice from 1 whole lemon
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
Spicy Mayonnaise: Mix together the following ingredients to serve on the side of your pan seared scallops.
- 1/2 cup of homemade mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce or sriracha
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Strawberry Cucumber Salsa: Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl to serve with the pan seared scallops recipe.
- 1 cucumber, peeled, sliced lengthwise, seeded, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- OPTIONAL: Add chopped mint for a sweeter flavor or cilantro for a Mexican flavor
- Salt and pepper the thawed scallops.
- Add the coconut oil to a 12 inch cast iron skillet and set over high heat. Once the skillet is very hot and the coconut oil is melted, tilt the pan to coat in oil.
- Gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1.5 – 2 minutes on each side. The scallops have a golden seared look on each side while still being translucent in the center. Remove the scallops from the pan and set aside.
- Add the ghee or coconut oil to the “dirty” hot skillet and remove skillet from the heat. The butter should immediately begin to melt since the skillet will still be hot.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the melted butter and stir, away from the heat, for 30 seconds.
- Add the lemon juice and coconut aminos to the skillet. Place the skillet back on a medium-high heat stovetop and add the scallops back to the pan. Toss the scallops in the ginger mixture and heat through for about 30 seconds.
- Serve warm pan seared scallops over the strawberry cucumber mixture or over a summer salad.