Cook Delicious Sea Scallops with These Simple Steps

Are you a seafood lover looking to spice up your culinary skills? Look no further than these simple steps to cook delicious sea scallops. This shellfish is a favorite for many due to its rich flavor and versatility in cooking. Whether pan-seared or grilled, sea scallops are a treat for taste buds and make a perfect main course for any special occasion or a simple family dinner. With a few simple ingredients and these easy-to-follow steps, you will be able to create mouthwatering sea scallops that will impress even the toughest of critics.

Cook Delicious Sea Scallops with These Simple Steps | Eat Urban Garden
Cook Delicious Sea Scallops with These Simple Steps

What are Sea Scallops?

Sea scallops are a type of marine bivalve mollusk that live along the ocean floor. They are a popular seafood delicacy with a buttery flavor and tender texture that can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are two main types of sea scallops: bay scallops and sea scallops.

Bay Scallops

Bay scallops are smaller in size and are typically found in shallow waters near the shore. They have a sweeter taste and a softer texture than sea scallops, which makes them ideal for raw preparations like ceviche or sushi. Bay scallops are also great for soups and stews because they break down more easily and release their flavor more readily.

Sea Scallops

Sea scallops, on the other hand, are much larger and are usually harvested from deeper waters offshore. They have a larger, meatier muscle and a firmer texture than bay scallops, which makes them well-suited for grilling, sautéing, or pan-searing. Sea scallops are also the better choice for dishes that call for a more pronounced scallop flavor, such as pasta or risottos.

How to Choose the Best Sea Scallops?

Sea scallops are a delicious and healthy seafood option that can be cooked in many ways. However, to enjoy the best flavor, it is essential to choose the right ones for your recipe. Here are some helpful tips to help you select the best sea scallops:

1. Check for Freshness

The freshness of the scallops is critical to their taste and quality. Fresh sea scallops should have a mild sea smell and no strong, fishy odor. Check the packaging or ask the seller for the harvest or packaging date of the scallops to ensure they are fresh. Ideally, it would be best if you cooked the scallops within a day or two of purchase to ensure optimal freshness.

2. Look for the Right Size and Color

Scallops come in various sizes, ranging from a few centimeters to over 10 centimeters in diameter. The size of the scallops can affect the cooking time and texture, so pick the size that works best for your recipe. Also, look for scallops that are firm and white with a slight pink or orange tint. Avoid scallops with a yellow or grey color or slimy texture, as these can indicate age or poor quality.

  • Large scallops (10 centimeters or more) are ideal for grilling, searing, and roasting. They have a firm texture and hold up well to high heat.
  • Medium scallops (6-8 centimeters) are best for stir-frying and sautéing. Their smaller size ensures they cook quickly and evenly.
  • Small scallops (3-6 centimeters) are perfect for soups, stews, and pasta dishes. They add flavor and texture without overpowering the other ingredients.

3. Consider the Source

The source of the scallops can also affect their quality and flavor. Look for sea scallops that are wild-caught rather than farmed, as they tend to be more flavorful and succulent. Also, check if the packaging indicates any certifications or labels such as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which indicate sustainable and ethical fishing practices.

How to Prepare Sea Scallops?

If you are a seafood enthusiast looking for a delightful dinner for your family or friends to enjoy, look no further! Sea scallops are a delectable seafood option that can be cooked in many ways for a satisfying meal. Before diving into cooking, it is essential to prepare the sea scallops correctly. Here are some tips on how to prepare sea scallops:

Cleaning sea scallops

One crucial step in preparing sea scallops is cleaning them. Begin by rinsing the scallops under cold water carefully. If there is a side muscle, remove it from the scallops. This muscle is a fibrous strip that connects the shell with the body of the scallop, which might make the scallop tough. You can remove it by gently pulling it and then discard it. Additionally, remove any sand or grit you may find on the scallops. Pat dry the scallops with a clean towel or paper towel to ensure the scallops are dry before seasoning.

Seasoning sea scallops

Seasoning is an essential aspect of preparing sea scallops. Seasoning enhances the flavor and taste of the scallops. Simple yet effective seasoning options include lemon juice, salt, and pepper. More complex options can include garlic, herbs, cayenne pepper, or any seafood specific seasoning you prefer. Apply the seasoning all over the scallops, making sure to season both sides for even flavoring and coverage.

Avoiding common mistakes when preparing sea scallops

  • Not patting dry: As mentioned above, it is critical to pat the scallops dry before seasoning; otherwise, it will not sear well.
  • Overcrowding the pan: If you are cooking a large number of scallops, do not try to fit them all in the pan. Overcrowding can increase moisture, making it harder to get that perfect sear. It is best to cook in batches.
  • Overcooking: Sea scallops have a delicate texture; therefore, overcooking them can make them chewy.

What are the Best Cooking Methods for Sea Scallops?

Sea scallops are a delicious and healthy seafood option that can be easily cooked using different methods. Whether you prefer them seared, grilled, baked, or sautéed, here are some tips and tricks to cook them to perfection.


Searing is a quick and easy way to cook sea scallops and it helps to lock in their natural flavors and juices. Here’s how:

  1. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
  2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Add a tablespoon of oil (such as olive oil or vegetable oil) to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops to the skillet one by one, making sure they don’t touch each other.
  5. Cook the scallops for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown.
  6. Remove the scallops from the skillet and serve immediately.


Grilling gives sea scallops a smoky and flavorful taste that pairs well with a variety of sauces and side dishes.

  • Preheat your grill to high heat.
  • Brush the scallops with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.
  • Place the scallops on the hot grill, making sure they are not overcrowded.
  • Grill the scallops for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are slightly charred and opaque in the center.
  • Remove the scallops from the grill and serve hot with your choice of accompaniments.


Baking is a low-maintenance cooking method that lets you cook large batches of sea scallops at once.

1 lb of sea scallops
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Salt and pepper
Place the scallops in a single layer on a baking sheet.
2 tbsp of butter
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and drizzle it over the scallops.
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Squeeze the lemon juice on top of the scallops.
1 clove of garlic (minced)
Sprinkle the minced garlic over the scallops and season with salt and pepper.
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
Bake the scallops in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender and fully cooked.


Sautéing is a great way to cook sea scallops in a flavorful pan sauce that can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side.

TIP: Sauté the scallops in butter and garlic for a rich and buttery flavor, or pair them with lemon and white wine for a tangy and bright taste.

What are Some Delicious Sea Scallop Recipes?

Sea scallops are a delicious and versatile seafood that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Here are some ideas for how to prepare this tasty shellfish:

1. Scallop Scampi

Scallop Scampi is a classic way to enjoy these succulent mollusks. To make it, sauté garlic in butter and olive oil until fragrant, then add scallops and white wine. Cook until the scallops are just opaque and serve over linguine or another pasta. Top with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.

2. Scallop Ceviche

Ceviche is a refreshing and light way to enjoy scallops. Cut the scallops into small pieces and marinate in lime juice for several hours until they are opaque. Add diced jalapeno, red onion, tomato, cucumber, and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips or over a bed of lettuce.

3. Scallop Risotto

Risotto is a luxurious dish that pairs well with scallops. Sauté onions and garlic in butter, then add Arborio rice and cook until the grains are coated in fat. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring frequently, until the rice is creamy and tender. Add seared scallops and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

4. Scallop Tacos

Scallop tacos are a tasty and unique way to enjoy these delectable shellfish. Sear scallops in a hot pan or grill, then serve in a soft corn or flour tortilla with sliced avocado, red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. Top with your favorite salsa or hot sauce.

5. Scallop and Bacon Skewers

This dish incorporates savory bacon with juicy scallops for a mouth-watering treat. Thread alternating pieces of scallop and bacon onto skewers and grill until the bacon is crispy and the scallops are cooked through. Serve with a dipping sauce made of honey, soy sauce, and lime juice.

How to Serve and Pair Sea Scallops?

Sea scallops are a delicacy appreciated by many food enthusiasts due to their succulent, buttery, and slightly sweet flavor. Although sea scallops are tasty when lightly seasoned, to elevate their flavor and presentation, they need to be paired with the right sauces, sides, and drinks. Here is how to serve and pair sea scallops:

Plating and Garnishing

When it comes to plating sea scallops, opt for a simple and elegant presentation to showcase the scallops’ natural shape and color. To plate the scallops beautifully:

  • Place the scallops in the center of the plate or on a half-shell, if using.
  • Add a dollop of sauce on top or around the scallops for flavor and presentation.
  • Garnish with chopped herbs, such as parsley, thyme, or chives, to add a pop of color.


The sauce you choose to serve with sea scallops can make or break the dish. Here are some delicious sauce options:

  • Lemon Butter Sauce: Mix butter, lemon juice, and zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Hollandaise Sauce: Whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, butter, salt, and cayenne pepper over low heat until thickened.
  • Béarnaise Sauce: Similar to hollandaise sauce, but with added tarragon, shallots, and white wine vinegar.


Sea scallops pair well with light, fresh sides that don’t overpower their delicate flavor. Consider serving them with:

  • Roasted or steamed vegetables like asparagus, green beans, or carrots
  • Grilled corn on the cob or corn salad
  • Risotto or pasta with a creamy sauce and herbs


The right drink can enhance the flavor of sea scallops and balance their richness. Here are some beverage options to consider:

  • Dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, to complement the buttery flavor of the scallops
  • Light beer or ale to refresh your palate
  • Iced tea or lemonade for a non-alcoholic option

Thank You for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning how to cook sea scallops with our easy-to-follow steps. Now you can impress your friends and family with your newfound culinary skills! Feel free to come back and browse our website for more delicious recipes and cooking tips.

Cook Delicious Sea Scallops with These Simple Steps | Eat Urban Garden

Cook Delicious Sea Scallops with These Simple Steps

Learn how to cook delicious sea scallops with our easy-to-follow steps. Impress your friends and family with your newfound culinary skills!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 252 kcal


  • 1 ½ pounds sea scallops
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges


  • Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge the scallops in flour and shake off excess.
  • Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add scallops to the skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Keyword sea scallops, cooking, recipe, seafood, kitchen

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