Pan-Seared Scallops with White Wine-Shallot Reduction

I have a new friend. I call her Stretch. How do I know she is a “she”, you ask. Technically I don’t. But just look at how beautiful and elegant she is. No guy has ever been that fabulous and poised.

Stretch comes and visits me a couple times a week. I watch her out my kitchen window while I’m preparing dinner (or you know, standing over my sink licking Nutella off a spoon). Mostly she just walks up and down the dock and wades in the shallows. But this week I just so happened to be watching as she swooped down into the water, snagged a fish and ate it. It was so cool. And not a single feather was ruffled or out of place (unfortunately, I lack the grace that seems to come so naturally to Stretch). And guess what else? At that very moment, I was preparing these scallops. So it seemed that everyone in the neighborhood was having fresh seafood for dinner that night.

I’ve been blogging for just over a year now so it’s kind of hard to believe that this is my first seafood recipe post. I guess it’s just not something I make very often at home. Partly because I didn’t really develop a taste for seafood until later in life, so I don’t have as much experience cooking it as I do other things. And also I’ve always been lucky to live in places with fantastic seafood (New England to the Bay Area to Seattle), making it easy to get incredible seafood out at local restaurants.

But even if you are a seafood novice like me, you can master these Pan-Seared Scallops with White Wine-Shallot Reduction on the first try. Seriously. I would not lie to you.

The most important part of this recipe is developing a nice brown crust on the scallops. So make sure your scallops are very dry before placing them in your hot skillet (you’ll get the best results from a stainless steel or cast iron pan). And once they’re in the pan, don’t mess around with them. Let the caramelization process happen undisturbed for about 1-2 minutes per side.

Everything happens very quickly once you start, so make sure to have all your ingredients prepped and at the ready.



Recipe slightly adapted from Key Ingredient

Pan-Seared Scallops with White Wine-Shallot Reduction

Serves 2

Pan-Seared Scallops with White Wine-Shallot Reduction


  • 8-10 sea scallops
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter


  1. Using a paper towel, pat the scallops dry on all sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the is oil hot (it should be shimmering with a few wisps of smoke coming off the surface), carefully add the scallops. Cook until the scallops are nicely browned on one side, about 1-2 minutes. Turn them over and cook until the second side is well browned, another 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the scallops to a plate.
  3. Place the pan back over low heat and add the minced shallots. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, until they have softened slightly and started to brown, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes more, scraping up any browned bits from the surface of the pan. Add the Dijon mustard and butter, stirring until well incorporated and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and add back the scallops, turning them in the sauce to coat. Serve immediately.

12 comments on “Pan-Seared Scallops with White Wine-Shallot Reduction”

  1. Trying this tonight, what type of white wine did you use for the scallops? I cannot wait to try this recipe and actually this will be my first time attempting scallops! Cheers!

  2. I just made this for my wife and me. It was delicious!! I used a sauvignon blanc. Great recipe!

  3. I found it a little bland. Next time I will increase shallots, add capers and thyme to the recipe.

  4. The recipe was restaurant quality. I added a little lemon, as well, which seemed to give it some extra flavor. I would definitely make this again!

  5. Ive done this many times as l am a Chef in my thing l add to l reduce balsamic viniger.then small drops on each scallop.colorful and a nice presentation and taste..thanks so much.

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