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Single Best Tip Ever for Cooking Scallops

Seared sea scallops with capers and brown butter ready to serve
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Sea scallops are one of those ingredients that are a deal breaker for some. It’s easy to get intimidated. Scallops are a protein that’s easy to overcook.

But I’ve got a secret that will turn sea scallops from advanced ingredient to dinner staple. Follow my advice on how to cook scallops and scallops for dinner will be a regular occurrence in your home.

The secret is making sure your scallops are dry. If you put wet scallops on a cast iron pan, the water will evaporate and the scallops will steam. Instead, sandwich your wet scallops between paper towels and sit them in the fridge for 20-25 minutes. The paper towel wicks water from the surface of the scallop and allows it to sear the moment it hits the hot cast iron pan. It’s a game changer of a tip and will make sea scallops immediately accessible for any home cook.

Make this quick and easy recipe any night. Scallops pair beautifully with dry aged strip steaks for a surf and turf feast, or are delicious on their own for a seafood feast.

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Seared Sea Scallops with Capers and Brown Butter Recipe

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30 mins. | Cook time: 5 mins.

Ingredients
1.5 lbs colossal sea scallops
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp room temperature brown butter, divided
3 tbsp capers
2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions for Seared Sea Scallops with Capers and Brown Butter Recipe

Step 1: Rinse colossal scallops in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Step 2: Place scallops on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet, placing an additional layer of paper towels on top of the scallops. Put the tray in refrigerator for 20-25 minutes. This allows for the water on the surface of the scallops to wick off onto the paper towel and creates the perfect searing surface.

Sea scallops drying on paper towels

For more information about this protein, click the picture.

Step 3: Light your grill and set for high direct heat. Place griddle plate over heat source and allow to preheat for 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have a griddle plate, a cast iron pan works well too.

Step 4: Remove scallops from refrigerator, lightly coat with olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt on each side.

Step 5: Add brown butter to hot griddle surface, once melted, place scallops in butter and sear each side for 2 minutes—or until crust is formed on top and bottom and the sides turn from opaque to white. Scallops cook quick and an overcooked scallop tastes like one of those rubber super balls you had as a kid, so be careful. If you’re unsure if the scallops are done, use a quick read thermometer and check for an internal temperature of 130°F.

searing sea scallops on the grill

searing sea scallops on the grill

Step 6: Remove the sea scallops from the griddle, top with remaining room temperature brown butter and capers with brine, then finish with fresh parsley.

seared sea scallops in a cast iron pan ready to eat

If you’ve got a hungry crowd, consider turning these delicious scallops into a surf and turf feast. Try pairing sea scallops with a few dry aged steaks from Omaha Steaks, the nutty flavor from the dry aged beef is an excellent pair with the freshness of the scallops.

surf and turf with seared sea scallops

We recommend these great steaks to pair with the scallops in a surf and turf dinner.

 

Make this Seared Sea Scallops with Capers and Brown Butter Recipe:

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5 from 4 votes
Seared sea scallops with capers and brown butter ready to serve
Seared Sea Scallops with Capers and Brown Butter
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs colossal sea scallops
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp brown butter room temperature
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse scallops in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

  2. Place scallops on a paper towel lined cookie sheet, placing an additional layer of paper towels on top of the scallops. Put tray in refrigerator for 20-25 minutes.

  3. Light grill and set for high direct heat, place griddle plate over heat source and allow to preheat for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Remove scallops from refrigerator, lightly coat with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt on each side.

  5. Add brown butter to hot griddle surface, once melted, place scallops in butter and sear each side for 2 minutes or until crust is formed on top and bottom and the sides turn from opaque to white.

  6. Remove from griddle, top with remaining room temperature brown butter, capers with brine, and finish with fresh parsley.