Seared Scallops and Roe

Summer isn’t just about softshell crabs…oh no. It is also about eating food that is light enough to allow you to consume massive amounts of strawberry shortcake and margaritas.
Some people say those don’t go together, but my blog. My rules. 
Scallops are a perfect summer food. They are light but rich, can be fried, baked, broiled or steamed, taste equally good for brunch and a midnight snack and are the perfect vehicle for butter. 
If you are lucky enough to get scallops with the roe still attached, GET THEM! This pink sack is the flavor jackpot. It has a firm but slightly creamy texture – like a very firm sweetbread. The flavor is even more mild than a scallop, with positively no oceanic note. It is just the slightest bit iron-y, but with no offal taste. Trust me…get the roe. It is the dark meat to the scallop’s white meat: rich and decadent.
Like I like my men.
You do have to separate the roe from the scallop before you cook it, to take out the digestive tract. Just pull the roe away from the white scallop meat, and it should separate easily. Then take off the little black string from the roe, and toss it.
 Voila! Now you just toss a little salt on the scallops (at least, I do),
 and throw them in an oiled pan on medium high heat. Then, DON’T TOUCH THEM! You want to let the scallops and roe cook almost all the way through before you flip them. You can see if they are ready to flip by the way that the scallop’s color turns from translucent to opaque, from the bottom of the scallop up to the top. You want it to be almost totally opaque, all the way up to the top, before you flip it. Also, if you try to flip it and it sticks, it isn’t ready to go yet. 
The scallops should be lightly golden with a few brown bits when you flip them, and the roe should be opaque and a bit firm. The glory of waiting to flip them is that the other side needs to cook for only a few seconds – just enough to warm and crisp the top, really. Then, you…
 Squeeze a few drops of lemon over the pan…
and devour these suckers. Serve them over pasta, with a Caesar salad, or-my FAVORITE way-on a sourdough roll with a healthy dollop of tartar sauce. Sweet, mild, buttery with just a HINT of seafood flavor, scallops are some of the ocean has to offer. The roe adds a minerally depth and tastes AMAZING when mashed up and added to the tartar sauce – really adds that meaty hit of umami. 
And, because these are light, you will definitely have room for that strawberry shortcake.
And yes, even if you eat it with the mayo, it is light. 
My blog, my rules.


  1. How has this Cape Cod loving gal never tried the roe with scallops? Great foodie-insider post!

  2. Scallop roe: I need to find out what's that all about.

  3. geraldine wong-smith says:

    simple lovely recipe. Enticing and interesting

  4. Linda Drouin says:

    Thank you, Sarah! Excellent recipe instructions for the scallops and roe. Although I would like to know where to buy them in the USA…the orange coral parts of the scallop. I really…really…miss them from my childhood in New Zealand. Can’t imagine why they don’t sell them here. Americans would love them, I’m sure.

    • I also had these in New Zealand a few years ago, fell in love with the texture and the taste and scoured the US trying to find them…finally ordered them from, shipped overnight …pricy but worth it!

  5. Paul Krueger says:

    I have never cooked sea scallops before. Followed your instructions and cooked 2 batches in my wok. Perfect! Thank you. Served them with Macadamia nut, lime juice and mango salad. Mangoes are off my tree and very plentiful at the moment here in Brisbane, Australia.

    • Hi Paul,
      I’m so glad that you liked the recipe! I am SO jealous that you have mangoes in your backyard! I have been to Sydney and I love your country!

      • Thank you for your amazing blog! I can’t wait to try some of your tips and recipes. I wanted to add my two cents on Corals. I love all roe, but this particular incarnation is absolutely delicious eaten this way: Simply sautéed with garlic and olive oil, and spread on crunchy, crusty, toasted bread. Serve with a glass of champagne or an achingly cold beer and enjoy.
        Please keep writing, you’re a breath of fresh air.
        Best wishes,

        • fritosfg says:

          Thanks so much, Joseph! Next time that I eat corals, WOW, I am doing it your way!!!!

  6. Laura Bestor says:

    I’m going to do this for dinner over Caesar salad……can’t wait. We found these frozen in France …..they should be delicious.
    Thank you for your information.

  7. I have never really understood people eating scallops WITHOUT the roe. It is, in my opinion, the tastiest part. Restaurants don’t serve scallops with the roe. For those of you having difficulty finding scallops with roe dry an Asian shop that sells frozen goods. OK, they’re frozen, but better than nothing. Thank you for instruction on how to remove the digestive tract. I look forward to adding scallops to a Caesar salad.