At his restaurant, Aziza, San Francisco chef Mourad Lahlou uses day-boat scallops--generally the largest of the scallops. They are collected by hand and are never soaked in phosphate dip, which extends the shelf life but compromises the flavor and quality. Bringing the scallops to room temperature helps them cook evenly. This recipe goes with Saffron and Preserved Lemon Risotto
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons white peppercorns
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
18 large sea scallops (about 1 1/4 lbs.), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
How to Make It
Toast spices in a medium frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and coriander seeds are light golden, about 4 minutes. Coarsely grind in a mortar or spice grinder, then pour onto a plate.
Heat oil in a 12-in. nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt right before cooking and dredge top and bottom of each one in spice mix.
Cook scallops until golden underneath, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve them with a drizzle of spiced pan juices.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Aziza, San Francisco
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