Seared Diver Scallops

A simple recipe of just hard seared diver scallops that results in a buttery crisp crust with a raw sweet center. All you need is a few things around the pantry: a solid well seasoned cast iron pan, your favorite basting spoon, butter, thyme, garlic,  and salt/pepper. Simple enough right?


  • Well Seasoned Cast Iron Pan


  • Diver Scallops, U-10
  • Canola Oil
  • Good Unsalted Butter
  • Cloves of Garlic, Sprigs of Thyme, Kosher Salt, Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Finishing Salt (Maldon, Fleur de Sel, Black Lava, Red Clay, Bamboo Jade, etc.)

*Important! First step is making sure your scallops are fresh; they should smell sweet and of fresh ocean. Beware of buying scallops injected with sodium tripolyphosphate, they will not sear correctly! The telltale sign of scallops that have been treated with STPP is that they leak a milky white fluid. *

Now on with the show…

  1. Preheat your cast iron pan on full blast, you want your pan screaming hot when you sear your scallops!
  2. While the pan is preheating, make sure your scallops are dry (if not, gently use a c-fold or paper towel and dab away the moisture). Season lightly with kosher salt and cracked pepper if you’d like. Remember if you want to use a fancy finishing salt to not over season your scallops at this stage.
  3. When the pan is smoking hot, coat a nice thin layer of canola oil on the bottom of the pan and drop the scallops into the pan. Be sure not to overcrowd or the steam will ruin your golden brown and delicious crust!
  4. Sear the scallops on high heat. When you start to see a crust start forming where the scallop is sizzling on the pan, drop a generous knob of unsalted butter along with a few cloves of garlic and sprigs of thyme. Gently baste the scallops with the butter until the side facing up is just barely cooked. You want the scallops a bit rare inside!
  5. Extract the scallops onto a rack or a stack of c-folds to properly drain any excess oil.
  6. Grab your pre warmed serving dish of choice and season ever so lightly with your finishing salt of choice!

~ by Clifton Su on October 23, 2012.

2 Responses to “Seared Diver Scallops”

  1. I have never personally prepared scallops… these look amazing! WOW. 🙂


  2. wow those scallops look perfect!

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