I said it once, and I will say it again. Cooking seafood with sous vide makes the seafood experience 10x better. As a general rule, seafood usually doesn’t need a long cooking time. It could be a bit tricky cooking it to a precise doneness, especially the scallops. They could turn chewy within few minutes!
That’s why sous vide is the way to go when cooking scallops. Add to that the heavenly lemon butter dressing. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed with the result.
Some important tips
- You can Sous Vide frozen scallops simply by increasing cooking time by 15 minutes.
- For me cooking at 130°F gives me the perfect scallop texture. But for a more tender and softer texture, you can cook at 123°F. Any temperature above 130°F can result in a chewy and firm texture.
- Don’t skip the chilling of the scallops in the ice bath or refrigerator step. It helps retain all the flavors in the scallops and searing it immediately after sous vide can lead to overcooking them.
- Remove the orange crescent-shaped piece in the scallops to avoid any bitter taste.
- Don’t cook with extra virgin olive oil as it has a low smoking point.
How to Make Sous Vide Scallops with Lemon Butter
- 1 lb of scallops
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoons of each salt and black pepper (or to taste)
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Chopped parsley for garnishing (Optional)
- To prepare the Sous vide, you will first need to fill its container with water, then adjust the temperature to 123ºF/51ºC. (Or 130°F/54ºC for a firmer texture). Leave it to preheat.
- The tough muscle in the scallops should be removed if present.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the scallops to season it. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Place the scallops in a zip-lock bag. Make sure they are spread in one layer to properly and equally cook.
- Now, for the ‘Water displacement’ technique, close the bag containing the scallops completely except one corner to allow air to come out. Dip the bag in a water filled container, keeping the zip-line above the water surface. Close the zip-line completely.
- Dip the bag completely into the sous vide container. You can use sous vide weight magnets or kitchen metal tongs to make sure the bag doesn’t float on the surface.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
- When the time is done, transfer the bag containing the scallops to an ice bath for 15 minutes. You can let it chill in a refrigerator instead for 1 hour.
- Remove excess moisture from the scallops with a paper towel after retrieving it from the bag.
- On a hot iron skillet, put on a medium-high flame, sprinkled with the rest of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter, sear the scallops for 30 seconds on each side till both sides are crusty golden brown. Remove the scallops from the pan.
- Into the same pan, add another tablespoon of butter and garlic. Let them cook and soak up all the flavors for a minute.
- Add the lemon juice and scrape all the sides of the pan. Let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes.
- Transfer the scallops back into the sauce after removing the pan from the heat. Mix the scallops in the pan thoroughly.
- Garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve over rice, pasta or bread, with any of the vegetables you prefer, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and green beans.