Dry Seared Sea Scallops with Spiced Browned Plum Butter

Serves 6

Sea scallops are labeled two ways, wet and dry. Dry sea scallops have not been treated with the solution STP (sodium tripolyphosphate) which is added to make the scallops retain a high moisture content and ultimately helps commercial seafood counters get a longer shelf life than should be recommended. It also makes the scallops weigh more and whrn paying a hefty price by the pound this can be significant in the price you pay. The dry scallops brown sear much better than the wet, their sweet and delicate flavor is more predominanat and they tend not to have the rubberty texture of the treated wet ones. So keep you eyes peeled and ask if the sign isn’t clear!


12 dry sea scallops
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
1 teaspoon pink flake salt
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons Spiced Plum Butter (recipe follows)
¼ cup sweet saki


Rinse and clean the scallops and pat dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl mix together the five spice, salt and sugar until well combined. Sprinkle a little bit of the mixture on both sides of the scallop. In a large sauté pan place a few tablespoons of the spiced plum butter and bring to a medium high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter beginning to brown or turn an amber color and bubble add the scallops faced down on one side and let sear for about 3 minutes, basting with the butter and without moving or turning. Reducing heat as needed to avoid burning the butter. Flip over and sear the other side and again allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes until seared and cooked through tender. Add the sake and move the pan making sure to deglaze the pan and that the scallops are not stuck to the pan. Serve with a small spoon full of sauce on the scallops.