How To Cook Scallops – Best Seared Scallops Recipe

Read on to know how to cook scallops using 3 varied cooking apparatus- the stove, oven & grill. Before jumping on to the cooking process, let’s begin with a few helpful instructions & tips.

1. Instructions for thawing frozen scallops

There are 3 ways to thaw frozen scallops:

1.1. Refrigerating:

  • Cut the frozen bag of scallops. Transfer the chunk of frozen scallops into a large clean bowl/dish. Cover with a lid/plastic wrap.
  • Leave it in the fridge (37°F) for a day (24 hours) to thaw completely.
  • It’s a safe method where you can be assured that the scallops won’t get damaged or contaminated while thawing.
  • This technique preserves the natural flavor of the scallops but is pretty time-consuming.

1.2. Water Bath:

  • Grab a large reseal-able plastic bag and stuff it with the frozen scallops. Seal the bag securely.
  • Place the sealed bag of frozen scallops in a large bowl. Put the bowl under running tap water.
  • Fill the bowl with the tap’s cold water. Change the water every 10 minutes until the scallops have thawed.
  • This method takes about 30-60 minutes depending on the quantity of scallops.

1.3. Microwaving:

  • Take the frozen scallops out of the packet. Put them in a large microwave-safe bowl/dish (to avoid spilling while defrosting).
  • Place a 3-ply paper towel on top of the frozen scallops (it saves from the scallops getting cooked in the microwave).
  • Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds in the defrost setting.
  • Take the bowl out and check. If the scallops are still frozen, put them in for 30 more seconds.
  • This method is somewhat risky, so best use it only for urgent situations.

2. Tips when cooking scallops

    • While rinsing the scallops, check if the tendon is still attached. The tendon is inedible so remove it before cooking.
    • Whenever pan-searing/grilling the scallops, make sure they are dry or else the golden caramelized crust will not form while cooking.
    • When flipping the scallops, either in the pan/grill, try to flip each scallop in a similar order in which you had placed them in the pan/grill. That is, flip the first placed scallop first and so on.

It is necessary to ensure that the scallops are defrosted & tender before cooking them. Cooking frozen scallops will yield rubbery textured scallops that are not at all appetizing.

3. How To Cook Scallops In A Pan

  3.1. Things you’ll need

  • 7-8 scallops
  • Salt & black pepper powder seasoning (as per taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive/vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • A cast-iron pan, paper towels, tongs

 3.2. How long to cook scallops in a pan

It takes 4-5 minutes to cook scallops in the pan

 3.3. Cooking Process

Step 1: Wash the scallops and place them on a paper towel. Using another paper towel, pat dry.

Step 2: Now, season the top side of the scallops with salt & black pepper powder.

Step 3: Put the cast-iron pan on the stove at high heat. Pour the oil, spread it all over the pan, and let it get really hot until slight smoke is visible.

Step 4: Next, put the scallops (seasoned side-down) cautiously into the smoking hot oil one at a time. Season the top-side with salt & pepper. Ensure the scallops don’t touch one another and have half an inch gap between them. Cook for 1½ minutes.

Step 5: Add the butter. Flip the scallops using tongs. Allow this side to cook for 1½ minutes.

Step 6: Turn off the stove. Transfer the pan-seared scallops immediately to a plate to save them from getting over-cooked in the hot pan.

4. How to Cook Scallops in Oven – Lemon Butter Scallops Recipe

 4.1. Things you’ll need

  • 10-12 Scallops
  • 1 tablespoon melted Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning (garlic powder, salt, and dried parsley)
  • Shallow Baking tray

  4.2. How long to cook scallops in oven

  It takes about 6-8 minutes to broil scallops in the oven. On the other hand, baking the scallops takes about 15 minutes.

  4.3. Cooking Process: Lemon Butter Scallops Recipe

Step 1: Rinse the scallops under running tap water and pat them dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Press the “broil button” to get the oven preheated while prepping the scallops.

Step 3: Transfer the pat-dried scallops into the baking tray.

Step 4: In a bowl, mix the melted butter with lemon juice, & seasoning. Pour the seasoning on top of the scallops and coat them evenly.

Step 5: Place the baking tray into the oven and let them boil for 6-8 minutes.

Step 6: Take them out of the oven, shift to a serving dish and serve immediately.

5. How to Cook Scallops on the Grill 

 5.1. Things you’ll need

  • 15-20 Scallops
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt & ground black pepper seasoning
  • Tongs

 5.2. How long to cook scallops on the grill

     It takes 3-4 minutes to grill scallops.

5.3. Cooking Process

Step 1: Set the grill at 400°F-450°F (medium-high temperature) for pre-heating.

Step 2: In the meantime, rinse the scallops and using paper towels dry them completely.

Step 3: Place the scallops on a dish and drizzle the olive oil on top. Sprinkle salt and ground black pepper seasoning. Coat the scallops evenly with the oil and seasoning.

Step 4: Now, oil the grates of the grill. Put the scallops (using tongs) on the pre-heated grill one by one. Remember, not to overlap or place the scallop sticking to each other. Maintain an inch gap between each scallop.

Step 5: Grill for 1½ minutes uncovered. You’ll notice that the scallops are not sticking to the grate anymore and grill marks are visible.

Step 6: Time to flip the scallops with the help of tongs. Cook this side uncovered for 1½ minutes as well.

Step 7: Lastly, transfer the grilled scallops to a serving dish. Give the cooked scallops a minute resting time before serving.

Step 8: Serve the grilled scallops with a lemon, garlic butter dipping sauce.

Thus, the above details on how to cook scallops will help you prepare the delectable shellfish at home easily.