Pan seared Shetland scallops with flaky sea salt

Prep time 5 mins
Cooking Time 5 mins
Serves 2
  • 4 MSC Scallops 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • Knob of butter [optional] 
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  1. The first thing I do with a fresh scallop is trim it and dry it off on a sheet of kitchen roll. Then toss in a small bowl with oil and a small pinch of fine sea salt.  
  2. Preheat your non-stick frying pan and place the scallops into the pan one at a time. Place with care and hold the scallop gently pressed down for a few seconds in turn as you place them. This allows their flat size to sear evenly on the hot pan surface and helps provide a sweet, umami-charred crust.  
  3. Turn the scallops over after 1-2 mins depending on their size. I use my fingers to test them a little like I would with a steak. I don’t like over-cooked scallops so still want them to feel soft and spongy rather than too firm and tight.  
  4. After turning them over I will often add a small knob of butter to the pan. Allow it to melt and foam and then tilt your pan and spoon the golden bubbling butter over the scallops for the last 15-20 seconds of cooking. Remove from the pan and spoon over the remaining butter. Season with a couple of large sea salt flakes on each pan seared scallop to serve. 

Top fish prep tip 

Season seafood in layers when you are cooking. A light sprinkle of fine sea salt to cure for a few minutes before cooking draws out a little moisture and helps enhance the flavours. Using a finishing salt afterwards adds a delicate crunch and salty bite to the sweet scallops when you plate them up. Don’t always reach for the black pepper automatically but consider trying a small pinch of cumin, za’atar or chilli flakes instead. Salt and pepper can be delicious with scallops but the possibilities for other spices to come and play is huge – season adventurously and it shows how versatile and exciting cooking shellfish can be. Also, consider alternative ingredients to provide acidity; citrus pairings like lime or grapefruit instead of just lemon, also try tomato juice, elderflower cordial or verjus. 

 

 

Ingredients

Method

  • 4 MSC Scallops 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • Knob of butter [optional] 
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  1. The first thing I do with a fresh scallop is trim it and dry it off on a sheet of kitchen roll. Then toss in a small bowl with oil and a small pinch of fine sea salt.  
  2. Preheat your non-stick frying pan and place the scallops into the pan one at a time. Place with care and hold the scallop gently pressed down for a few seconds in turn as you place them. This allows their flat size to sear evenly on the hot pan surface and helps provide a sweet, umami-charred crust.  
  3. Turn the scallops over after 1-2 mins depending on their size. I use my fingers to test them a little like I would with a steak. I don’t like over-cooked scallops so still want them to feel soft and spongy rather than too firm and tight.  
  4. After turning them over I will often add a small knob of butter to the pan. Allow it to melt and foam and then tilt your pan and spoon the golden bubbling butter over the scallops for the last 15-20 seconds of cooking. Remove from the pan and spoon over the remaining butter. Season with a couple of large sea salt flakes on each pan seared scallop to serve. 

Top fish prep tip 

Season seafood in layers when you are cooking. A light sprinkle of fine sea salt to cure for a few minutes before cooking draws out a little moisture and helps enhance the flavours. Using a finishing salt afterwards adds a delicate crunch and salty bite to the sweet scallops when you plate them up. Don’t always reach for the black pepper automatically but consider trying a small pinch of cumin, za’atar or chilli flakes instead. Salt and pepper can be delicious with scallops but the possibilities for other spices to come and play is huge – season adventurously and it shows how versatile and exciting cooking shellfish can be. Also, consider alternative ingredients to provide acidity; citrus pairings like lime or grapefruit instead of just lemon, also try tomato juice, elderflower cordial or verjus. 

 

 

  • '{{item.Image.Title}}', {{item.Image.Artist}}, {{item.Image.Description}}