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Seared Sea Scallops

Seared Sea Scallops

I was in the mood for seafood so I went to my local grocery store to see what looked good. I saw huge sea scallops and decided to make seared sea scallops. I was looking online for recipe ideas and realized that I bought “wet” scallops instead of “dry” scallops. Scallops are sold either “wet” or “dry.” “Wet” scallops are treated with phosphates, which causes them to absorb water. This extra water makes them heavier and more expensive. “Dry,” natural scallops that have not been treated with any chemicals. So, learn from my mistake, and buy “dry” scallops, if possible. Luckily, I found a simple solution on America’s Test Kitchen. I soaked the scallops in a water/lemon juice/salt brine for 30 minutes to help rinse the phosphates out. I rinsed the scallops and then sandwiched them between towels to soak up the excess liquid. I simply seasoned them with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper before searing them in a little butter. They turned out great. My daughter was not a fan of the scallops which surprised me because she loves sushi. My son said they were good until the next day when he told me that he actually didn’t like them. Thankfully, my husband and I both thought they were delicious. I served these scallops with the Caramelized Onion Orzo and the Spinach, Tomato, and Bacon Sauté for a healthy and delicious dinner.

Seared Sea Scallops

How to Make Seared Sea Scallops

If you can only find “wet” scallops, soak them in a solution of 1 quart cold water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons table salt for 30 minutes. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops. Place a towel (or a few paper towels) down on a large plate. Place the scallops on the towel then cover with an additional towel (or paper towels). Press gently to remove excess water.

Add the butter to a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the scallops with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Once the pan is hot, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2- 2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a  golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve IMMEDIATELY. Enjoy.

Seared Sea Scallops

Seared Sea Scallops

Seared Sea Scallops

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Pam / For the Love of Cooking

Ingredients

Brine:

  • 1 quart 4 cups cold water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp table salt

Scallops:

  • 15 sea scallops
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp butter. to taste

Instructions

  • If you can only find “wet” scallops, soak them in a solution of 1 quart cold water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons table salt for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the small side muscle from the scallops. Place a towel (or a few paper towels) down on a large plate. Place the scallops on the towel then cover with an additional towel (or paper towels). Press gently to remove excess water.
  • Add the butter to a large saute pan or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the scallops with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Once the pan is hot, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2-2 minutes on each side.
  • The scallops should have a golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve IMMEDIATELY. Enjoy.
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19 Comments

  1. You got a great sear on your scallops. They are very impressive. Thanks for the tip to rinse the phosphates out of wet scallops. We always buy dry scallops, except when we’re stuck with only one choice, the wet ones and still want s callops. I’ve saved it as I know your tip will come in handy.

    Have a lovely weekend.
    Sam

  2. Those scallops look perfect! I had no idea there was a difference, although, I’ll admit, I don’t buy them out here.. it’s hard to get “fresh” scallops in the desert 🙂

  3. They look perfect Pam and good tip on the wet scallops – I didn’t realize they were chemically treated. I’m with you on the seasoning – butter, S&P is all they need.

  4. Scallops here are so insanely expensive that I rarely buy them, unless baby bay scallops are on sale. Yours look really good! Too bad the kids didn’t like them; they’ll just have to have leftovers the next time you want scallops.

  5. scallops are the one seafood-y item i actually enjoy, but i’ve only ever gotten them at restaurants. guess i should learn to make them for myself, eh?