Lightly seasoned pan-seared scallops are drizzled with reduced teriyaki sauce optionally mixed with grated ginger. Toasted sesame seeds on top add a lovely contrast in texture.
Scallops aren’t cheap so you want to get the most from them. You don’t want them to shrink too much and you want them to retain their natural flavor.
Two keys to prevent scallops from shrinking unnecessarily and turning rubbery: high heat and short cooking time. You really just need to sear them to create a light crust to get good texture.
The key to seasoning scallops: keep it simple. The natural brininess of scallops is a wonderful thing and you don’t want to drown that with too much sauce.
Seared scallops with gingered teriyaki sauce
For the sauce
- ¼ cup light soy sauce - I used Kikkoman
- ¼ cup sake
- ¼ cup mirin
- ¼ teaspoon grated ginger - optional
To cook the scallops
- 12 large scallops
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Make the sauce
- Pour the soy sauce, sake and mirin into a small sauce pan. Stir in the ginger.
- Boil uncovered over medium heat until reduced by half. It takes 10 to 12 minutes.
Cook the scallops
- Place three or more layers of kitchen paper on your working area.
- Arrange the scallops on the layers of kitchen paper.
- Take more kitchen paper, place over the scallops then press gently to remove excess liquid.
- Sprinkle the scallops very lightly with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the two flat sides of each scallop in starch; shake off the excess.
- In a wide frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of a quarter inch.
- Lay the starched side of the scallops in the hot oil. Over VERY HIGH heat, sear the scallops for a minute or so then flip to brown the opposite side. DO NOT OVERCOOK. A total of two to three minutes cooking time is enough.
Assemble the dish
- Arrange the cooked scallops on a plate.
- Drizzle the sauce over the scallops.
- Top the scallops with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve at once.