Pan-Fried Scallops Recipe With Herbed Brown Rice

This pan-fried scallops recipe may seem like quite the indulgence, but it's oh so easy to make.

July/August 2014

  • These pan-fried scallops will melt in your mouth.
    Photo by Karen K. Will

Cook Time: 20 min

Yield: 4 servings

Scallops taste like the sea — in a good way. Saltwater practically oozes out of them when eaten, and when cooked to perfection, they are light and buttery to the palate. Similar to shrimp, these shellfish are simple to cook. Simply sauté for about 3 minutes per side in a medium-hot pan with butter or olive oil, and this delicacy is ready to eat.

Scallops are heart healthy, rich in vitamin B12, omega-3s, potassium and magnesium (which contributes to improved cardiovascular health), and have anti-inflammatory properties.

If your scallops are frozen, thaw them in cool water for 1 hour prior to cooking. Pat them dry and season with a little salt and pepper, or herbs and spices of your choice. To broil or grill, cook for 6 to 8 minutes (3 to 4 minutes per side), just until they’ve turned white and opaque.

To bake, place scallops in a shallow pan and cook at 375 F for 12 to 15 minutes, just until white and opaque.

Pan-Fried Scallops Recipe

This is a delightfully simple yet indulgent dish. The key to well-seared scallops is to dry them thoroughly before cooking. You must also make sure your pan is up to the proper temperature before adding them, and don’t overcrowd the pan, which will cause the scallops to steam in their own liquid instead of producing a nice brown sear.


• 1 cup organic California brown or white basmati rice
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, cilantro or basil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 6 large sea scallops
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. To cooked rice, add butter and herbs, and toss gently. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.

3. Place scallops on paper towels and pat dry thoroughly. Season each side with a little sea salt and pepper.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until oil shimmers. Place scallops in pan and sear for 3 minutes, or until nicely golden brown; turn and cook until second side is golden brown and opaque, about 3 minutes.

5. In small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar and remaining oil. Whisk together until thoroughly blended.

6. Divide rice evenly between two individual bowls or plates. Top each serving with 3 scallops, then drizzle a little sauce over all. Serve immediately.

Want to try more easy fish recipes? Read Cooking Fish the Easy Way and discover how simple cooking fish can be.

Karen K. Will is editor of Heirloom Gardener magazine, and co-author, along with Editor-in-Chief Oscar H. Will III, of Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions (New Society Publishers, 2013).

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