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Seared Scallops with Cucumber and Jalapeño

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 12

Servings: 6

These cool bites offer a wonderful combination of flavors and textures, pairing tender, caramelized scallops with crunchy cucumber, spicy jalapeño, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. You can easily double the recipe to serve more guests.


  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 6 dry-packed sea scallops
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small English (seedless) cucumber
  • 1/2 medium lime
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped seeded jalapeño
  • 12 leaves fresh cilantro

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 50
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 15
  • Fat (g): 2
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 470
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 6


  • Chill a small tray and a medium serving plate in the freezer.
  • Heat the oil a 10-inch heavy-duty skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Meanwhile, remove the side muscle from the scallops, halve them horizontally to make 12 thin rounds, and pat dry. Season each with salt. Cook, flipping once, until just cooked through, 3 minutes total. Transfer to the cold tray and return it to the freezer while you prep the remaining ingredients. (Don’t freeze for more than 15 minutes or the scallops will be too hard to eat.)
  • Slice twelve 1/8-inch-thick rounds from the cucumber and arrange on the chilled serving plate. Top each cucumber with a scallop. Squeeze the lime over the scallops, sprinkle with the jalapeño, and garnish each with 1 leaf of the cilantro. Serve right away.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • scribbly1 | 01/03/2014

    I haven't tried this recipe, but I have reservations about it. I love sea scallops, but I do them simpler. They're very delicate in flavor, so I wouldn't use the jalapeno or cilantro as they might overpower the flavor of the scallops. Also, I would serve them as a warm dish, like a first course. The first sea scallops I ever had were in a restaurant in Germany, large as hockey pucks and served with a brown sauce that I took to be similar to a barnaise. I've done bacon-wrapped sea scallops which I recommend, but it's important to pre-cook the bacon since it won't cook in the short time that the scallops cook. Finally, just seared scallops with a drizzle of white truffle oil has worked best for me, highlights the scallop flavor, and is simple to do. It's also important to saute them over high heat in order to get slight browning before they're done, about 1.5 minutes on each side, depending on the size and thickness. Optional: serve them on a bed of a mild green with balsamic on the side. Enjoy!

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