This post was originally published here May 21, 2014. I’ve adjusted the recipe slightly and updated the text and photographs to reflect those changes.
Goodbye 2019. I’m not sad to see you go.
And it’s not because I think 2019 was the worst year ever. Yes, it did royally suck at times. There were many days (more days than I’d care to admit to on this blog) that were filled with uncertainty and pain.
But there was also a lot of good. I grew my business. Traveled to new places. Nurtured friendships. And supported my community.
Like I said. Not the worst year of my life. But still, I’m finding myself anxious to turn the calendar. I’m that person who loves Mondays because it’s the start of a new week ( = so fresh!). So you can imagine my anticipation at the start of a new decade. It’s pretty major.
It seems fitting to head into 2020 with a little bit of style and class. So today I’m talking about these Easy Pan-Seared Scallops with Shallots and White Wine Reduction. A crowd pleasing, no-fail recipe that every home cook should memorize and master. This is a dish I know you will make over and over again!
But to start, you need to make sure you’re purchasing the right scallops for the job. First, you want to look for sea scallops, which are the larger of the two varieties that are commonly available (the other being bay scallops). And second, you’ll want to determine whether the scallops are being sold “wet” or “dry”, and purchase “dry” scallops whenever possible. The fastest and easiest way to do this is to ask the person at the fish counter. But there are also a couple signs you can look for. Wet scallops are usually a bright, snowy white color. While dry scallops have more of a natural off-white color. So why do we care? Wet scallops have been treated with a phosphate solution, which causes them to absorb water. This is done to preserve them and to keep them from drying out during transport. Sounds good, right? Nope. This treatment makes them less flavorful, artificially inflates their price because we purchase scallops by weight, and makes it almost impossible to achieve a beautifully seared crust.
And it’s all about the crust, baby!
After all that, the rest is easy. A quick sear on both sides. And an equally quick reduction. And you’ll be savoring restaurant-quality scallops at home in no time!
Enjoy them over grains, pasta or a big salad for a fabulous dinner. Or serve them as an appetizer over a few microgreens. You can’t go wrong!
Easy Pan-Seared Scallops with Shallots and White Wine Reduction
- 12 sea scallops
- Black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons peeled and minced shallot
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons minced chives, divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut up
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Remove and discard the small side muscle from the scallops. Then rinse the scallops briefly under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and let it get hot. Then add the scallops and let them cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until they are well browned on the first side and release easily from the skillet. Flip them over and cook them on the second side for about 2 minutes. Remove the scallops from the skillet and place them on a clean plate. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to low-medium and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the minced shallots. Cook the shallots, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes more, scraping up any browned bits from the surface of the skillet with a wooden spoon.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the chives along with the butter and mustard. Stir until everything is well incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Remove the skillet from the heat and add back the scallops, turning to coat them in the sauce.
- Transfer the scallops and sauce to serving dishes. Top with the remaining chives. Enjoy immediately.
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!
Yeah! I hope you enjoy it! I used a chardonnay for this recipe.
I just made this for my wife and me. It was delicious!! I used a sauvignon blanc. Great recipe!
Thanks, Jim! Glad you loved it!
I found it a little bland. Next time I will increase shallots, add capers and thyme to the recipe.
Sorry to hear that, Susan. I hope your additions will boost the flavor enough for you!
We had this the other night and my sister in law added a little lime and lemon juice which gave it some flavor.
That sounds like a good addition, Marc!
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!
That’s great, Lisa! And the lemon is a perfect idea!
Ive done this many times as l am a Chef in my Restaurant..one thing l add to finish..is l reduce balsamic viniger.then small drops on each scallop.colorful and a nice presentation and taste..thanks so much.
Yes, great idea! Will do that next time!
thank you for this recipe and scallop tips, I think I’ve always bought “wet” scallops without knowing any better since they have always been fairly tasteless and hard to sear/add a crust, also appreciate your distinguishing sea scallops from the rest!
Definitely try and get dry scallops next time. I think you’ll notice a difference for sure! Thanks, Sabrina!
Hi, I just tried your recipe tonight, the flavor was very good my fiance loved it, thank you. This was the first time I cooked scallops, for some reason my fry pan created like a thick coat/film that did not incorporate to the sauce when I added the rest of oil and shallots, not even with the wine. Also while i was searing them, i noticed too much liquid. i dried them after rinsing in cold water and before seasoning. your help it’s much appreciated.
Thanks again for this recipe!
Sorry you had some trouble with your pan, but sounds like they tasted great anyways.
Delicious and easy to make. I was looking for a scallop recipe that was different from the normal lemon and garlic recipes we often find or experience in taste. I love the shallot and chives taste. I used real chives from the ends of green onions and it gave it a fresh punch. I will definitely make this recipe again. Thanks for sharing
Glad you loved it, Terra! Thanks for letting me know!