Cooking Scallops: What You’re Doing Wrong

Regularly preparing meals at home is a surefire way to eat healthier.  Sometimes though, we run out of ideas for home cooked menu options.  That’s when I experiment.

Usually the first time I try something new it turns out less than perfect.  But the joy of cooking is getting better and learning how to cook something new.

I recently had a breakthrough with my prep of a household favorite, scallops.  Allow me to share what I’ve learned.

First, a quick overview of searing scallops:

  1. Swirl a couple glugs of EVOO in a stainless steel frying pan and crank up the heat.
  2. Pat the scallops dry and add a little salt and fresh ground pepper.
  3. After the oil has been heating a minute or two (the oil should swirl around the pan very easily) add the scallops.  You should immediately hear the sizzle.
  4. After a minute or two flip the scallops and cook an additional minute on the second side.  Remove from pan and serve immediately.

What you’re doing wrong:  

Using a non-stick pan.  And not letting the pan get hot enough before adding the scallops.

Over-cooking. Resist the urge to cook the scallops longer than two minutes.  Even slightly overcooked scallops turn tough.  Scallops are not chicken or beef.  Under-cooking will not make you sick.  Overcooking will leave you disappointed.



6 responses to “Cooking Scallops: What You’re Doing Wrong

  1. I’m confused by two points.

    1. The directions say to use non-stick pan, then ‘what you’re doing wrong’ says ‘using a non-stick pan’.

    2. ‘Under-cooking’, but then warns about over-cooking.

    Yum, I love scallops! Another tip: pull off the hinge, the tough little bump that connects the scallop to the shell, before cooking. Also try ‘cooking’ in lime juice or chili powder, no electricity required!

    Great blog, I’m a huge fan.

  2. SO true! Overcooking will make the scallops chewy. They should be like butter!

  3. Pingback: Cooking and Brain Surgery | Essentials of Nutrition

  4. um how about removing the muscle off the scallop before you cook it in your photo

  5. You say to cook a minute or two, then flip them over for another minute! That’s three minutes. Then. You say don,t cook more then two minutes?
    I know, cook as little as possible it still make them like your picture.

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