Seared Scallops with Lemon Caper Sauce

Scallops – those tender, succulent jewels of the sea – are a delicacy cherished by seafood enthusiasts worldwide. Here is a classic pan-seared scallop with lemon caper sauce that all scallop lovers should have in their repertoire. But before we delve into this recipe, what exactly are scallops, and why are they such a coveted ingredient in the culinary world?

seared scallops with lemon caper sauce

Bay Verses Sea Scallops

Scallops are mollusks that belong to the Pectinidae family, prized for their sweet, delicate flavor and tender texture. They’re classified into two main categories: bay scallops and sea scallops. Bay scallops are smaller and sweeter, typically found in shallow coastal waters, while sea scallops are larger and meatier, harvested from deeper ocean waters.

When browsing the seafood aisle at your local fish store, you’ll likely come across two types of scallops: dry-packed and wet-packed. Dry-packed scallops are free of any added water or preservatives, resulting in a richer flavor and better sear when cooked. Wet-packed scallops, on the other hand, are treated with a solution of water and sodium tripolyphosphate to preserve their moisture, which can affect both their taste and texture.

seared scallops with lemon caper sauce

Lemon Caper Sauce

Now, let’s talk about the star of the show – the classic lemon caper sauce. The combination of lemon and capers is a simple way to balance the richness of certain dishes, particularly seafood and poultry, by adding a burst of acidity and brininess. This zesty sauce combines the bright flavors of fresh lemon juice, briny capers, and fragrant garlic, creating a perfect complement to the sweet, buttery scallops.

And the best part? This sauce is incredibly easy to prepare, requiring just a few simple ingredients and a quick sauté in the pan. This sauce is incredibly versatile and can be served drizzled over pan-seared or grilled fish or chicken but it can also be incorporated into pasta dishes for a burst of flavor.

seared scallops with lemon caper sauce

This pan-seared scallops with lemon caper sauce not only makes a delicious and elegant meal but it’s also a healthy and quick option for busy nights. With minimal prep and cooking time, you can whip up this gourmet dish in minutes, leaving you more time to savor every bite and less time slaving away in the kitchen.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

4 thoughts on "Seared Scallops with Lemon Caper Sauce"

  1. Avatar photo Marva Sletten says:

    Looks and sounds DELICIOUS!!!

    1. Thank you Marva, this is a very easy (and tasty) recipe for scallop lovers. I hope you try it!

  2. Avatar photo Roz Potischman says:

    This photo takes my breath away! I love scallops. Yours are luscious-looking — almost too beautiful to eat, but “almost” doesn’t matter. I would eat them in a minute!

    1. That is very kind of you to say, thank you Roz!

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