Butter-Seared Sea Scallops with Pan-Fried Sweet Corn Hash

Oxmoor House
Butter-Seared Sea Scallops with Pan-Fried Sweet Corn HashRecipe
Photo: Oxmoor House


A properly browned scallop is one of the wonders of cookery, because getting it perfect isn't easy. First, scallops are crazy-wet, and moisture fights against browning. You can get a pocket of water trapped between the pan surface and the scallop, thus inhibiting the temperature rise needed for browning. Secondly, butter, while delicious, adds a higher degree of difficulty than vegetable oils, as its solids are prone to burning and its smoke point is fairly low. Master this and you'll be able to sear anything well.
Serves 4 (serving size: 3 ounces scallops and 2/3 cup corn hash)


+ Add To Shopping List
1 pound very fresh, dry-packed, chilled sea scallops
2 tablespoons melted butter
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, divided


Hands-on: 25 Minutes
Total: 25 Minutes

Make the Pan-Fried Sweet Corn Hash, and keep it warm while you sear the scallops.


Dry the well-chilled sea scallops with paper towels. Get them really dry. And well-chilled should be about 34°--the temp in your fridge.

Brush the scallops evenly with the butter on all sides. The butter should solidify on the sides of the scallops if they are properly chilled and dried.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Spray the pan evenly, but lightly, with cooking spray.

Raise the heat to medium-high.


Slide half the scallops into the pan, one by one. If the pan has been heated properly, the scallops will slide like an air-hockey puck in an arcade. Just like that.

Try sliding the scallops around in the pan. Cool, right? Gently press the scallops against the hot pan surface to "pop" out any water/steam pockets.

Season with 1/16 teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon pepper. Use your fingers.


Now, let the scallops sear. The edges will brown. Doneness is a matter of taste, for sure, but 2 minutes and a flip, followed by 1 minute on the non-presentation side should be great.

Season the other side of the scallops.

Using a fish spatula or tongs (but be gentle with tongs), transfer the scallops to a plate.

Repeat the procedure to sear the remaining scallops.

Divide the scallops among 4 plates. Top each serving evenly with the Pan-Fried Sweet Corn Hash. Don't be too fussy.

Created date

September 2014

Nutritional Information

Calories 359
Fat 16.2 g
Satfat 5.8 g
Monofat 4.4 g
Polyfat 1.8 g
Protein 25 g
Carbohydrate 34 g
Fiber 4 g
Cholesterol 61 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 650 mg
Calcium 61 mg