Health-conscious it may not be, but most everything tastes better fried -- including scallops. The deep fryer is an excellent way to cook scallops, and this recipe is an easy preparation.
The scallops are first dipped in a seasoned flour mixture, then they are dipped in egg batter and dry bread crumbs.
For more in-depth cooking tips and variations for alternative seasonings, cooking tips, and a quick tartar sauce perfect for dipping, see below the recipe.
More Seared Scallops Recipes
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable oil (or amount needed for deep frying)
- 2 cups sea scallops
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk (or water)
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (fine dry)
- If scallops are quite large, cut them so the sizes are fairly uniform.
- Rinse the scallops under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Remove the tough white side muscle if not already removed.
- Heat about 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy cast iron skillet, saucepan, or deep fryer to 350° F.
- Line a baking pan or baking sheet with two or three thicknesses of paper towels and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and paprika.
- In another bowl, whisk eggs with the milk.
- Put the fine bread crumbs in a third bowl.
- Dip a few of the scallops in the seasoned flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, and then roll them in the bread crumbs to coat. Repeat with the remaining scallops.
- Once the oil has reached the temperature (350°), add several scallops -- about 6 to 10 depending on the pan size -- to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Take care not to overcook. They should be warm in the middle, but still moist.
- Remove them from the oil with a metal slotted spoon and transfer them to the paper-towel-lined pan. Shake the pan gently for a few seconds so the scallops roll around and excess oil is absorbed.
- Repeat with subsequent batches.
- Serve immediately with your choice of cocktail sauce, remoulade sauce, or tartar sauce (see below).
Cooking Tips and Variations
- Don't crowd the scallops in the pan. Crowding will make the oil cool down significantly, and the scallop coating will end up absorbing more oil.
- Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning to replace the salt and paprika.
- Spice the scallops up with a pinch of cayenne pepper, or reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon and add about 1 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning.
- Use garlic seasoned fine dry bread crumbs for the coating.
Recipe for Quick Tartar Sauce
- Combine 2/3 cup of mayonnaise with 1/4 cup of finely chopped sweet bread-and-butter pickles and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cover and chill until serving time.