Sea scallops take only minutes to cook and go with a multitude of flavors. My favorite way to serve sea scallops is simply with salt and pepper, a fresh herb such as dill, tarragon, or chives and a drizzle of lemon or lime juice.
How to cook sea scallops? Follow these three important tips, and you’ll have a lean healthy dinner on the table fast.
- Pat the scallops dry with paper towels before you season them with a salt and pepper. They need to be dry in order for them to sear properly.
- You need just a small amount of oil and it needs to be quite hot (right at smoke point) before the scallops hit the pan. I usually use a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil such as sunflower oil.
- Cook 2 minutes on the first side and about ½ a minute on the second side. Flip only once using tongs or metal spatula and a fork to steady. They should have a nice golden sear on the first side. Overcooked scallops are rubbery and unsatisfying.
- Drizzle fresh lemon juice or lime juice and fresh herbs of your choice over them just prior to serving.
You’ll notice sea scallops are often served in a restaurant with bacon or a heavy butter-based sauce. I’ve always found this over-powering not to mention artery-clogging. At home, I prefer to keep it low-fat, simple and fresh. Instead, think fresh tangy herbs and citrus flavors to compliment the natural delicate creamy flavor of the scallop. Since the scallops cook up fast, have everything else you plan to serve with them ready before you start. Right before serving, sprinkle them with a little lemon or lime juice and fresh herbs.