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 give them a try. 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, 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 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.

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 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.

Print
Print
Save
Save

Seared Sea Scallops

Yield: 4

Ingredients:

Brine:

1 quart (4 cups) cold water
1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 tbsp table salt

Scallops:

15 sea scallops
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter

Directions:

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 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.

Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking
Brine recipe from America's Test Kitchen

  Pin It

18 Responses to “Seared Sea Scallops”

  1. 1

    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen — March 21, 2014 @ 3:33 am

    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

    [Reply]

  2. 2

    Lia — March 21, 2014 @ 4:47 am

    I Pam,
    I love scallops and just bought some for tomorrows lunch :) ))!
    Cheers and hope you have a fabulous weekend,
    Lia.

    [Reply]

  3. 3

    Jenn — March 21, 2014 @ 5:32 am

    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 :)

    [Reply]

  4. 4

    Larry — March 21, 2014 @ 8:13 am

    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.

    [Reply]

  5. 5

    Angie@Angie's Recipes — March 21, 2014 @ 10:01 am

    These look so fresh, succulent and wonderfully delicious, Pam.

    [Reply]

  6. 6

    Hazel — March 21, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    How interesting about wet scallops and dry scallops! These look so plump and juicy, even when cooked! Delicious!

    [Reply]

  7. 7

    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine — March 21, 2014 @ 11:28 am

    I love that via the internet we can solve so many problems. It’s great to know what to do with wet scallops. Your finished scallops look beautiful so the trick definitely worked!

    [Reply]

  8. 8

    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) — March 21, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

    Look at those beautifully seared scallops. And thanks for the wet scallop tip. Never knew that.

    [Reply]

  9. 9

    Jovina Coughlin — March 21, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

    They look perfect

    [Reply]

  10. 10

    Marjie — March 21, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

    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.

    [Reply]

  11. 11

    Andrea@WellnessNotes — March 21, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

    I like scallops but have never made them. Thanks for the info on wet and dry scallops!

    They look absolutely delicious!

    [Reply]

  12. 12

    Peggy Recker — March 22, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    These look so good and oh how I love scallops!

    [Reply]

  13. 13

    pam (Sidewalk Shoes) — March 22, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

    Wow I had no idea what the difference between wet and dry scallops was.

    [Reply]

  14. 14

    Joanne — March 23, 2014 @ 6:23 am

    Well at least the kiddos gave them a try!! Can’t win em over every time.

    [Reply]

  15. 15

    Chris — March 23, 2014 @ 7:48 am

    I love that tip on de-phosphating the scallops, I did not know that.

    [Reply]

  16. 16

    Minnie@thelady8home — March 23, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

    Scallops in brine…love them. Look perfect!

    [Reply]

  17. 17

    Sarah & Arkadi — March 23, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

    scallops are one of our fave sea food items! the best part is that you don’t have to add a lot of anything to them to make taste good!

    [Reply]

  18. 18

    grace — March 26, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    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?

    [Reply]

Leave a Comment