A sweet, delicate flavor is the hallmark of well-cooked scallops. Using the sous vide method, this recipe results in mouth-watering buttery goodness. These sous vide scallops are a great dish to serve on special occasions or for Sunday dinner.
My first encounter with scallops wasn’t pleasant. The scallops looked good on the plate. Both sides had a nice sear and it smelled quite good. The problem started when I tried cutting into it. It was tough. Then, I tried taking a bite. It was like chewing rubber. It turned me off of eating scallops for a long time.
Then, I went to dinner with my in-laws at a fancy new restaurant. What I didn’t know is that the chef decides the menu for the day. That day, scallops were on the menu. Sous vide scallops to be exact. Perfectly cooked, delicate, buttery scallops. It was a game changer for me.I had to duplicate this wonderful flavor for myself. The next day, I grabbed some fresh scallops at the market and ran home to try to sous vide them. My first attempt was actually pretty good, but I wanted it to be perfect. That’s where brown butter came into play. This recipe is my current favorite for sous vide scallops.
What Makes A Good Sous Vide Scallop Dish
Creating a good scallop dish starts with picking the best scallops possible. Trying to save some money will only end up with subpar scallops.
Scallops, like shrimp, is often designated by how many are in a pound. So, 20/30 means there are between 20 and 30 scallops in a pound. The lower the numbers, the larger the scallop. Bay scallops, from the shallow waters along the East Coast, are smaller with 70 to 120 per pound. Sea scallops are much larger, coming in at 10 to 40 per pound.
If possible, get fresh scallops from a reliable seafood supplier. Fresh is better if the scallop has been harvested in the past day or two. However, if you don’t have access to fresh seafood, individually quick frozen scallops are better than non-frozen ones that are several days old.
Always purchase dry-pack scallops over wet-pack. Wet-pack scallops are soaked in phosphates to lighten their color and to plump them up. This means you are paying more per pound for water. The phosphates change the texture and flavor of the scallops. Dry pack means the scallop is packed as is, nothing added.
Scallops can turn rubbery if they are overcooked. A good recipe will call for the scallops to be cooked a minimal amount of time to prevent this from happening. Sous vide cooking, at a steady low temperature, offers the optimal conditions to give you buttery, delicate scallops. A few seconds in a hot skillet gives the scallops the beautiful golden brown color you would expect.
Sous Vide Scallops
Delicious sous vide scallops
- 6-7 pieces Scallops
- 3 tsp Brown Butter
- 1 tsp Butter
- Salt and Pepper (To taste)
Set your sous-vide water bath to 140°F.
Place scallops in heavy-duty, resealable bag. Add brown butter, salt, and pepper to bag. Seal the bag using the immersion method.
Submerge sealed bag in sous-vide bath. Cook for 35 minutes.
When done, remove bag from water bath, then remove scallops from bag. Pat scallops dry with kitchen towel.
Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add butter to pan and let it melt.
Add scallops to hot pan and sear on each side for 30 seconds.
Serve over brown butter.