How Scallops are Supposed to Be Made

"Scallops don't need sauces or breading to be perfect. This method is fast, easy, healthy, and most of all, delicious! I love these scallops with some couscous or a simple pasta with olive oil, Parmesan, and basil/oregano. Enjoy!"
photo by mikey  ev photo by mikey  ev
photo by mikey ev
photo by AcadiaTwo photo by AcadiaTwo
photo by sloe cooker photo by sloe cooker
photo by sloe cooker photo by sloe cooker
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
Ready In:
10 scallops




  • Preheat a large skillet over med-high to high heat; add oil.
  • Pat down scallops with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over one side of the scallops.
  • Place scallops (seasoned side down) on the hot skillet.
  • Do not touch, move, or tinker with the scallops at all.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over the other side of the scallops.
  • Cook scallops 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness) on each side or until caramel in color.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice over the pan.

Questions & Replies

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  1. jrusk
    Perfect cooking technique and timing. I sprinkled a little old bay on mine due to religious beliefs ...hahaha. For presentation I put the lemon on the side so the browned sides didn't loose their beautiful color. Yum these were so perfect.
  2. mayness
    I had never eaten scallops that I could remember, but people seem to love them, so I wanted to give it a shot. I followed your instructions and they were FANTASTIC! (3-4 minutes on each side for what I think would be medium-sized sea scallops.) If they weren't so darn expensive I'd be making these all the time. =] My husband was really impressed... and I couldn't believe how easy it was.
  3. Ellee
    Thank you SOOO much for posting this cooking technique!!! The scallops were seared and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy inside and bursting with their natural flavor. I'm so glad I didn't go with any of the other, more complicated recipes I considered. I will never cook scallops any other way.<br/><br/>I was cooking for 1, and after consultation at the fish counter bought 3 scallops, which weighed about 1/3 pound and cost me $5, but I figured I'd treat myself :-) They were big and I cooked them about 4-5 minutes per side on a hot cast iron skillet. I only used EVOO, salt and pepper; had no lemon but didn't miss it. Thanks again!
  4. Merryannie
    Just made these & loved them. The sweetness of the scallop shines thru in this recipe. I did add a touch of butter - 1 tsp., if that, to the oil. I considered my scallops to be medium sized - wish they had been larger. Will make again w/large ones. Cooked 3 min. on each side. Thanks!
  5. IndyEater
    Used Bay Scallops! Just like Joes Stone Crab!! I added a bit of butter and think the lemon juice should be saved for after the scallops are plated so as to not lose the carmelization. Use high heat and a copper skillet if you have one!! Soo good!!


  1. Carl in Boston
    It is important to obtain good quality scallops for this cooking method. Ideally, they are 'dry', 'diver' or 'day boat'. Unfortunately most scallops are 'wet', often with added sodium tripolyphosphate. For the best discussion of buying scallops (that I have found), go to P.S. The first syllable of scallop rhymes with HALL, not with HAL!



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