Seared Scallops Recipe: Scallops in an Asian Flavored Tomato Sauce

seared scallops

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I pulled scallops out for dinner over the weekend. So many choices of delicious recipes but I went into the kitchen and found Riley the Farm cat eating the scallops! So the cats had yummy scallop sashimi for dinner and we had soup. Sigh. The craving for seared scallops was still strong so I pulled more out but this time I thawed them somewhere the cats could not go. Thinking about what to make for dinner I considered past meals like scallops with cherries and pumpkin seeds and pesto scallops but then went a totally different way.

This past summer, for the first time I froze tomatoes. I usually can the bulk of the crop in pizza sauce, tomato sauce and tomato soup. One year I had a surplus of apples at the same time so I made apple barbecue sauce! Once I get on a canning roll don’t come near me in the kitchen or whatever you are holding might end up in a jar! But putting every tomato into something in a jar left me with no plain tomatoes so I came to the decision to freeze some. I’m lucky to have the space in my freezer. I just chopped them into chunks and put them in reusable freezer containers and I pull them when I want them. Each one is about equivalent to a 15.5 oz can of tomatoes.

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seared scallops

Seared Scallops Recipe: Seared Scallops in an Asian Flavored Tomato Sauce

Serves 2

  • 8 oz sea scallops
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 TBS canola oil
  • 2 15.5 oz cans of tomatoes
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 TBS white wine (optional)
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt divided, plus more to taste if needed
  • 3 TBS dried cranberries
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice

chop basil

  • Roughly chop the basil, set aside.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. 
  • Drain the tomatoes and add them to the pan. Add the baking soda. Cook until the tomatoes are very soft.

dredge scallops

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  • While the tomatoes are cooking mix the flour with 1 tsp of the salt on a plate.
  • Dry the scallops and then dredge in the flour mixture. Set aside.
  • Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Add the canola oil.

pan fry scallops

  • Tilt the pan to spread the oil. Place the scallops in the pan about an inch apart and pan fry for 1 minute. Turn the scallops and cook on the other side for a minute. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Pour it into the tomato mixture and stir to combine. If using, add the white wine. Bring mixture back to a simmer and let cook for two minutes.
  • Stir in the dried cranberries. Taste and adjust for seasoning if needed.
  • Add most of the basil; leave just enough to sprinkle for garnish on the two plates at the end.

add scallops to finish

  • Place the scallops in the sauce and let cook for about two minutes on each side until cooked through.

To Serve: Place a cup of rice on the place, top with half of the scallops and some of the sauce. Sprinkle with the reserved basil.

How Were the Seared Scallops?

This one even surprised me to tell you the truth. I was cooking along and the little voice in my head that tells me how to cook (don’t ask) kept saying add dried cranberries. I kept fighting it because…DRIED CRANBERRIES?!? But I have long learned to ignore that voice is to miss something vital. So I added them and wow – they really added something to the final dish. The whole ingredient list probably looks odd but trust me – this was really tasty.

This recipe would work quite will with shrimp too.

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