Seafood is one of my favorite types of food to cook because it's quick and easy. These Garlic Sage Seared Scallops can be done in less than 10 minutes which makes them perfect for Holiday cooking!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Scallops. The fresher the better. I always try to get my scallops the day I will be cooking them. You can have the fishmonger, where you buy them, remove the muscle or you can do it yourself (more about that below).
Garlic and Sage. These are the flavors I like but you can substitute thyme or rosemary or whatever you would like.
Step-by-Step Directions in Just 15 Minutes!
Okay, so searing scallops, takes less than 15 minutes actually. Maybe 6 total, if we're counting from the second they go on the pan until the second they come off. There is some prep time that makes things a lot easier and tastier!
Removing the muscle is the first step. The muscle is edible, it just takes much longer to cook than the rest of the scallop. When searing scallops for a minute or two on each side, the muscles need to be removed otherwise we'll have an overcooked and chewy scallop.
You'll find the muscle on one of the edges of the scallop. It should peel right off.
Once the muscle is removed salt and pepper both sides of the scallop. This is the only seasoning you'll have to put on the scallop.
Prepare a handful of sage, crush 2-4 pieces of garlic, and place right next to the frying pan along with a ¼ cup of butter.
Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.
Once the pan is hot, add your scallops in one at a time so that you are searing the top or bottom of the scallop. Spread out evenly and do this in batches if necessary to not crowd the pan. and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the scallop is seared.
I say this because 2 extra minutes and you might as well throw them away.
- DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE PAN. Unless you have a timer on. Any extra cooking time can easily destroy this delicate fish. 2 extra minutes and you might as well throw them away.
- Use a very thin spatula or fish-turner. I even use a butter knife. The scallops are delicate and this makes it easy to turn them without letting the skin stick to the pan.
At the 90-second mark, or before, carefully flip the scallops using a very small spatula or butter knife. I prefer using the butter knife and holding the top of the scallop with 1 finger to flip them.
Flip the scallops and wait another 60 seconds. At the 60-second mark, the bottom of the scallop should also be golden brown. If it isn't, wait another 30 seconds. Then add the butter, garlic, and sage to the pan.
I like to turn the pan on its edge, letting the butter melt and foam. While the butter is foaming it will absorb the flavors of the garlic and sage. Spoon the butter over the scallops for about 30 seconds over and over again.
Remove the scallops from the pan and drizzle the rest of the butter on them. Scallops should be served immediately. Add a squirt of lemon on top if that's your thing. Enjoy with a nice large glass of sauvignon blanc.
Your presence in front of them and not crowding the pan. As long as you watch them and wait for the bottom of them to start slightly curling in, you will turn them at the right time.
Scallops are high in lean protein and can be a quick snack after the gym. If you defrost them and peel the muscle in advance, the scallops can be in the fridge for 24 hours. Then you can salt and pepper them, get the scallops in a frying pan, and have lunch in less than 10 minutes.
No, scallops need to be served and eaten immediately for the best flavor.
What to make with Scallops
These are great for the holidays as an appetizer or for dinner over rice or asparagus. Add a hollandaise sauce over the asparagus with some seared garlic sage scallops to make a meal out of it!
More Fantastic Seafood Recipes
Garlic Sage Seared Scallops
- 1 Frying Pan
- 1 dozen scallops
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 handful sage
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper
- Prepare your scallops by removing the muscle on the side. It's usually a little bit whiter than the rest of the scallop and should peel off easily. Season the scallop with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan to medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place your scallops in the pan. Don't overcrowd the pan (this may require 2 batches). Sear scallops in the oil for about 90 seconds or until they become golden brown. Carefully flip the scallops using a butter knife or a very small spatula. Sear on the opposite side for 1 minute.
- Add ¼ cup of butter sage leaves and garlic. Use a spoon to baste the scallops in the garlic and sage butter mix. to infuse flavor into your scallops baste for about 1 minute. Remove the scallops from the pan and plate. Spoon the butter onto the scallops and serve immediately.