“Searing Scallops”

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One of my favorite seafoods out there, is the Sea Scallop. It’s sweet, tender, and just absolutely delicious. With something expensive like this, there seems to be a lot of intimidation of over cooking them, or having them still be raw in the middle. You can eat them raw, but most prefer not to. So I thought I’d walk you through it step by step to show you how easy it really is.

Now when you go to buy sea scallops, there is one question you need to ask the person behind the counter. Ask if they’re dry, or wet sea scallops. If they don’t know, then either find someone who does, or find somewhere else to buy them.

A wet sea scallop is shucked into a preservative solution. The scallops absorb the solution, and last a while. This makes them bitter when you cook them, and they shrink a considerable amount.




Dry means they just shuck them into the container they’re shipped in. So natural, sweet and almost no shrink when they’re cooked. These are what you always want to buy when buying sea scallops.




There are some people that will take a beautiful large sea scallop and cut them in half so they’re thinner. I don’t agree with this. If I’m going to spend the money on something big and beautiful like these U-4 (4 ea. in a pound) sea scallops, I want them to look as impressive on the plate as they do coming out of the container.

Doing this means they’re going to take a little longer to cook. It also means you have to start the pan off a little cooler than if you were searing thinner pieces.




Start by seasoning your scallops evenly on both sides.




Get your pan hot on about medium heat. Add your oil once the pan is at the desired temperature. Hot pan and cold oil means less chance of sticking.




Add your scallops pressing them down to make sure the bottom is flat against the pan. Make sure you leave some space between them for even cooking.






After about 4 minutes, flip your scallops over using a spoon. A spoon allows for less damage to your big beautiful scallops. If you have something smaller, it may only take about 90 seconds. It all depends on the size. You want to make sure you see this beautiful golden crust.

Turn the temperature down to low to finish your scallops. Another 3 minutes and they should be done!





Now you can sear scallops perfectly with the best off them!

These pair beautifully with a little spicy summer corn salad.

Tools used in this post:

Nonstick Fry Pan, 10-inch



  • Michael Gendreau on October 19, 2016

    Thanks for the info on wet/dry….I did not know this and it explains the taste differences I have had. (never knew to ask). Do you have any suggestions for Bay Scallops? I live near the coast and have access to them but they never turn out as yummy as the Sea Scallops do…

    Thanks again….great article

    • JustinBorecky on October 26, 2016

      I’ve looked far and wide trying to get dry bay scallops and the only way i could seem to get them was still in shell. It’s a lot of money for that. That being said, depending on the application of the bay scallop, you can always buy dry diver scallops and cut them to fit the dish. If you don’t want to cut them (they are expensive) see if you can get smaller dry diver scallops. Depending on where you do the ordering from, ask for 21/25’s. you may get lucky!

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