If you want to make pan seared scallops with a citrus glaze, you need a sear. Pale, rubbery scallops won’t do – and they will be no fun to eat.
This is where quality comes in. Wet scallops have been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), a chemical that increases their water weight and the price you pay at the market. Dry scallops are untreated. When they hit a hot pan, they don’t release a flood of locked up water and it will be easier to get that brown, caramel crust on the surface of a perfectly cooked scallop.
Dry scallops are fresh, sweet, and briny. Their flesh is translucent. And you won’t find a pool of milky white liquid around them. They tend to spoil quicker and cost more. But they’re well worth the extra price if you want to avoid scallops that are weighed down with STP and water.
To ensure you get the sear you’re looking for – salt your scallops 15 minutes before cooking in order to draw out excess moisture. Pair your pan seared scallops with something light and fresh, like Gnocchi With Pesto, Green Beans, and Ricotta .
Pan Seared Scallops with Citrus Glaze
- 1 medium orange
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, optional
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- 2 tbsp. sucanat
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
- coarse sea salt, to taste
- 1 1/2 lb sea scallops, around the size of a smashed ping pong ball
- ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Juice the orange - you should have about 1/3 cup per orange. Mince the garlic.
- Remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeno, if using, and mince.
- In a small saucepan combine first all the ingredients except for the salt over medium heat. Whisk to incorporate honey.
- Let mixture come to a simmer for about 15 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper.
- Heat butter in pan until a white foam begins to form. Place scallops in the pan in a single layer with spaces in between. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn over. The scallops should be a nice golden color.
- Cook on the second side for 2-3 more minutes or until your scallop is fully cooked. (Cut one in half and make sure that the whole scallop is the same color on the inside. Raw scallops are more translucent; cooked scallops are firm and creamy-white.)
- Serve immediately topped with citrus glaze.