Perfectly Sautéed Sea Scallops

© Katherine Stetson

The secrets to perfectly sautéed scallops are several:

  • Always buy the fresh, wild variety, never the ones injected with salt brine – the added liquid escapes during cooking, making proper caramelizing impossible.
  • Always remove the side muscle from the scallop (the opaque white strip), which is far too tough and chewy.
  • Carefully pat dry scallops before sautéing to ensure good browning.
  • Cook scallops in a skillet large enough to accommodate the scallops in a single layer, without crowding.

For each dinner serving:

  • 4-6 ounces sea scallops
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • lemon wedge, for garnish
  • freshly chopped parsley (optional), for garnish

Trim muscle from scallops and pay dry.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.  Carefully place scallops in skillet, face side down and do not disturb, toss or turn for several minutes or until they have browned nicely.  Turn scallops over and brown the other side.  Add a bit more butter, if you like, and serve immediately with lemon and parsley.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.