Perfectly seared scallops with sake butter sauce. A simple hors d'oeuvres recipe that is also very stylish. Perfect for your next cocktail party or celebration.
I do love a perfectly seared scallop. One that is golden brown, top and bottom, but is just cooked through. Delicate to bite, not tough and chewy. In the pan for too long will always result in something that closely resembles rubber. It is a fine balancing act to get that golden sear without killing these delicate marine bivalves with overcooking.
This recipe is an ode to my love of Japanese ingredients. Once cooked the scallops are tossed through a lip smacking sake butter sauce. Though there is also a hint of Chinese in this dish with the additional garnish of green onion (scallion) and ginger.
Recipe Hazard Zones
The major hazard you will have with this recipe is overcooking your scallops. The last thing you want is guests playing ping pong with the hors d’oeuvres.
Don't overcrowd the pan, make sure there is plenty of space between the scallops so they sear and don't sweat. By only cooking a few at a time it is easier to judge how they are cooking and get them off the pan quickly when done.
Equipment for this recipe
A heavy based non stick fry pan is a must. You will still use a little oil when searing the scallops, but you will be safe from them sticking to your pan.
Special Ingredients for this Recipe
Scallops are the hero of this dish. They can also be expensive when buying on the half shell. If you are on a budget or catering to a large crowd buy them off the shell.
When it comes around to plating and serving your guests, think outside the box. Use spoons or some other small vessel that will also hold the seared scallops along with a little of the sake butter sauce.
What to do with any leftovers
This dish is one to serve to your guests straight away. Unfortunately, they won't taste as delicious once they are cold. Try to avoid leftovers.
Generally, I allow two scallops per person if they are being served with other hors d'oeuvres. If they are being served as a starter (entree) at a dinner party I like to serve five to six, depending on their size.
However they are served these seared scallops with sake butter sauce are a total crowd pleaser. They tick the box on both taste and presentation.
Other Seafood Hors d'oeuvres
Chilled cucumber soup shots with spicy crab - perfect summer entertaining
Chilled corn soup with crab and gin pickled tomatoes - a little sassy and one for gin lovers
Seared scallops, blood limes & hazelnut brown butter - another tasty seared scallop recipe
Fried prawn dumplings, water chestnuts & Ginger - one for the dumpling addicts out there
Smoked trout on potato rosti - a mouthful of amazing
Prawn toast with corn & black sesame - twisted prawn toast at its best
Spiced prawn pappadams - mini pappadams filled with spicy prawn
Please also check out our complete selection of hors d'oeuvres recipes
Seared Scallops with sake butter sauce
- heavy based non stick fry pan
- 12 scallops on the half shell
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 40 grams unsalted butter
- 60 ml (¼ cup) sake
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar super fine sugar
- ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
- ginger and spring onions shallots, finely sliced to garnish
- Remove scallops from their shells and rinse gently to remove any grit or shell. Rinse scallop shells and dry in preparation for serving.
- In a heavy base non stick fry pan heat vegetable and sesame oil. Get the pan as hot as you can and add six of the scallops. Sear one side until browned and then quickly turn them over and sear the other side. Remove immediately from pan and leave to rest on kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining scallops.
- Wipe any excess oil from the pan, and return to the stove on a low heat.
- Place butter, sake, soy sauce, mirin, caster sugar and grated ginger in the pan. Cook over a low heat until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved.
- Then increase the heat and reduce sauce until slightly thickened.
- Remove pan from heat and add all the scallops back to the pan and toss them through quickly but until well coated.
- Place some finely sliced ginger and spring onions on each scallop shell and then top with the glazed scallop. Drizzle more sauce over the scallops and serve immediately.