Saturday, July 7, 2012

Seared Scallop BLT Mini-Sandwiches


Ah, the noble scallop – the tastiest brainless creature in the ocean. It sits in its clam-like shell at the bottom of the sea, just waiting to be scooped up and devoured. I’ve always loved scallops, and decided to make a meal of them for dinner. “But how to prepare them?” I asked myself. Fried? Baked? Maybe a nice scampi? Hell no!

What you see here instead are bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches, with an obvious twist – that’s not bread, those are sea scallops, seared and sliced in half. It’s a pretty labor intensive recipe with a lot of different steps, but it’s definitely a unique way to eat scallops, and well worth the effort. So follow along and get ready to experience scallops like never before!

Recipe adapted from The Bite Sized Blog

Difficulty: Relatively Difficult
Active Prep Time: About 40 minutes
Total Prep Time: About 40 minutes
Special Equipment: Food Processor
Serves: 4 - 6

Scallop Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 pounds large sea scallops
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wondra flour (All purpose flour works as well)
  • 1 head bok choi
  • 1 small heirloom tomato
  • 4 - 5 slices of bacon
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • Honey Mustard Glaze (recipe below)
  • Herb Mayonnaise (recipe below)


Honey Mustard Glaze Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Herb Mayonnaise Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin



(Start with Honey Mustard Glaze)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, coffee, maple syrup, paprika, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


(Move onto Herb Mayonnaise)

2. Place egg yolk into a food processor and pulse about 3 times. Then add the Dijon mustard and pulse another 3 or 4 times.

3. Very slowly - as in barely a trickle - begin to pour in the Canola oil while the food processor is running. The mixture should start to emulsify. If it doesn’t it means you’re pouring the oil too quickly.


4. Mix in the lemon juice, oregano, thyme, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


(Move onto the Bacon and Bok Choi)

5. Preheat the oven to 450ºF and set a pot of water to boil on the stove top. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the bacon.

6. Arrange slices of bacon on a baking sheet lined with foil.

7. Using a pastry brush, apply honey mustard glaze to one side of the bacon. Cover with foil and weigh down using a second, smaller baking sheet or flat-bottomed oven safe pan.


8. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and chop into 1x1 inch pieces.


9. By the time you stick the bacon in the oven, your pot of water should be boiling. Dip the bok choi into the boiling water for 5 – 10 seconds to blanch, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water.


(Move onto the scallops)

10. Heat canola oil in a medium sized pan over high heat until nearly smoking. For extra flavor, add some whole peppercorns to the pan.

11. While the pan heats up, sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper, and dust the top of each one with a thin coating of flour.


12. Place scallops in the pan (in a couple of batches, if necessary), floured side down, and sear for about 1 minute, or until golden brown.

13. After a minute, flip the scallops over and cook for an additional minute. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan and baste the scallops as they cook.


14. Transfer scallops to a plate and let rest for about 30 seconds before slicing.


15. With all the components ready, set up an assembly line to make your BLTs.


16. Cut each scallop in half and coat one of the halves with herb mayo. Layer on the bok choi, tomato, and bacon.


17. Serve by themselves as hors d'oeuvres, or alongside egg noodles or rice as a full meal.



  1. Too much liquid in the pan you are searing in. You also need to let them sear longer.

    1. True enough. I've still got some learning to do.