Pan Fried Scallops and Cilantro Salsa

Dinner quick, fast, and in a hurry for those of you who are sick of cooking every meal, every day during COVID (that would be me). I’m often teased for never ordering scallops (or chicken) in restaurants. Here’s the thing, they’re easy to make. I can do it myself. On the other hand, do I want to roast a lamb underground for 48 hours? Not this week … so I’m probably going to order the lamb (this is when we can eat in restaurants again). Scallops are great to keep in your freezer because they defrost quickly and require just a minor kiss with the grill or a frying pan to cook through. Generally 3-5min/side on med-high heat according to size. If you’re on a tight timeline, start with the scallops and make the salsa in between flipping them. If you have a food processor, the salsa will take you two min – no chopping required, don’t be a martyr!

Time: 20 min; Serves: 4


For the scallops:

  • 1 lb/ 450g scallops
  • salt
  • white pepper

1. Heat a pan over med-high heat and add in a couple of glugs of olive oil. Dust the scallops on either side with salt and white pepper before placing on the pan.

2. Cook the first side of the scallops for 3-5 minutes before turning to cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. If your scallops are thick, sear the sides until they brown (there should be no whitish translucent flesh showing through).

3. Plate with the salsa (recipe below).

For the salsa:

  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice and zest of one large lemon
  • 1/2 jalapeno, deseeded
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • salt to taste

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor on low until they come together. It should be mostly blended through with a bit of texture.

2. Salt to taste. If it needs more acid, add more lemon juice or a dash of white wine or white balsamic vinegar. Serve with the scallops.

cilantro salsa
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