Much less expensive than going out to eat, but even better than chef-made scallops!
Scallops sous vide with lemon and butter sauce are juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Cooking first in the sous vide cooker, then quickly searing at the end for tender-crisp scallops every time! It’s the simplest way to prepare scallops, whether fresh or frozen!
In a deliciously silky lemon butter glaze, these scallops are evenly cooked to the exact temperature from edge to edge.
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WHY SOUS VIDE SCALLOPS?
Cooking scallops can be intimidating at times because they are so easy to overcook. With this step-by-step recipe, you can learn how to sous vide scallops in no time.
These scallops have a major show-stopping result with little effort when served as a starter or main course. Your secret weapon is sous vide!
Overcooking scallops is one of the simplest things in the world to do. You don’t want to spend so much money and end up with rubbery and chewy scallops because of their high price tag.
However, by eliminating short windows of time for perfect doneness, the sous vide method yields the best results. You can use the same method to cook shrimp as well!
WHAT IS SOUS VIDE?
Sous vide cooking involves vacuum sealing your food and cooking it in a temperature-controlled water bath.
Cooking in this manner makes it nearly impossible to overcook anything.
You can prepare food exactly the way you want it every time. Restaurants have used it for a long time, and companies are now introducing home cook versions.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING SCALLOPS?
When it comes to seafood, don’t be afraid of the frozen variety!
Freezing seafood is one of the best ways to keep it fresh, especially since it typically travels a long distance.
I only buy fresh scallops when I know where they’re coming from (my local seafood shop). Other things I look for include:
- “Day Boat” – this means it was caught on a boat that returns to shore each day to unload, rather than staying out for days at a time and storing seafood in a hold.
- When it comes to sustainability, bottom culture or off bottom culture farming is best, but wild caught in the United States or Canada is also acceptable. Visit Seafood Watch to learn more about scallops and sustainability!
- Look for “dry-packed” – this indicates that there are fewer additives and that they will exude less liquid when cooked.
- I get my scallops from Thrive Market (delivery is always a plus in my book!).
SCALLOP TIME AND TEMPERATURE
Our preferred time and temperature for cooking scallops is 30 minutes at 52 degrees Celsius/125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking it for 30 minutes is the ideal time for tender scallops. In addition, cooking at 125 F yields tender shellfish with incredible texture every time.
Just make sure you have a dependable sous vide that accurately regulates the bath temperature, or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule).
Although this time and temperature combination is our favorite, we recommend that you experiment with different combinations to find your personal favorite.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
Simply vacuum seal your food in a bag and cook it to a precise temperature in a water bath. No more overcooked scallops for you!
- Scallops: Look for scallops that are slightly pink or beige in color. Remove the roe (the bright orange and crescent-shaped part) if it’s still attached because it’s a little bitter.
- Olive Oil: The best olive oil for this recipe is regular olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil should be avoided because it has a lower smoke point.
- You can use regular table salt or coarse salt for the salt and pepper. The best black pepper to use is freshly ground black pepper.
- Butter: It improves the browning of the scallops while also adding great flavor. In this recipe, I used unsalted butter.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic or garlic powder can be used.
- Lemon Juice: It adds a sweet-tempering tang and delicious flavor complexity.
HOW TO MAKE SOUS VIDE SCALLOPS?
- The scallops should be seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Put the seasoned scallops in a large resealable bag and vacuum seal it with the “water displacement” technique.
- Cook for 30 minutes in a sous vide machine.
- Allow to cool before patting the surface dry with a paper towel.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, pan sear the scallops until the surface has caramelized.
- Prepare the lemon butter sauce. Toss the scallops with the sauce after they’ve been cooked.
CAN YOU SOUS VIDE FROZEN SCALLOPS?
The short answer is, of course! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is a quick and easy way to prepare your protein.
Simply remove the food from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe), and let the sous vide do its thing.
The only thing you’ll need to change at this point is the cook time. If you are cooking frozen scallops sous vide, we recommend adding 30 minutes to the cooking time, for a total of one hour for the shellfish.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Single layer is critical: It is critical to keep the scallops in a single layer in the bag. DO NOT OVERFILL your scallops, as they will not cook properly. If your bag is too small to hold everything in one layer, you can use multiple bags.
- You can seal the scallops with ziplock bags: simply place the scallops in a ziplock bag and seal all but one corner of the bag. Slowly lower it into the water bath, making sure that everything below the zip-line is submerged. Then, seal the remainder of the bag.
- For better searing, use an ice bath: If you cook your scallops right after they come out of the warm water bath, any rise in temperature will overcook them. By chilling the meat in an ice bath for about 10-15 minutes, you can cool the outside as well as a thin gradient of the interior, allowing for a proper sear without jeopardizing the sous vide doneness. Furthermore, the ice bath helps to lock in all of the flavors and improve the taste. You can also chill the scallops in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- Don’t forget to pat the scallops dry before searing: A dry surface on the scallops is essential for a proper searing! All you have to do is pat your chilled scallops dry with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. This increases the contact between the skillet and the scallops, resulting in less steam during the cooking process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Scallops cooked sous vide are a game changer. Cooking the scallops sous vide results in tender, juicy shellfish that a traditional method cannot produce. Then, add some butter, lemon, and garlic to make foolproof scallops in lemon butter sauce. The simplicity of this recipe is the key to its success.
Overcooking scallops is one of the simplest things in the world to do. You don’t want to spend so much money and end up with rubbery and chewy scallops because of their high price tag. However, by eliminating short windows of time for perfect doneness, the sous vide method yields the best results.
After shucking a scallop, all it needs is a good rinse with cool water. Make sure to get rid of the little side muscle, which is an oblong flap of tissue that can be easily cut or pulled away. Before cooking, pat the scallops dry.
Season the sea scallops with salt and pepper to taste. When the pan is hot, add the grapeseed oil, then drop in the scallops, leaving enough space between them so they don’t steam. When you put the scallops in the pan, they should sizzle.