Deep-Fried Scallops Recipe

fried scallops
Pamela Lao/Moment Open/Getty
    30 mins
Ratings (30)

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

What You'll Need

  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 2 cups sea scallops
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk or water
  • 1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs

How to Make It

  1. If scallops are quite large, cut them so the sizes are fairly uniform.
  2. Rinse the scallops under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Remove the tough white side muscle if not already removed.
  3. Heat about 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy cast iron skillet, saucepan, or deep fryer to 350° F.
  4. Line a baking pan or baking sheet with two or three thicknesses of paper towels and set aside.
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and paprika.
  2. In another bowl, whisk eggs with the milk.
  3. Put the fine bread crumbs in a third bowl.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Repeat with subsequent batches.
  8. 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.