What to Serve with Scallops? Best Scallop Pairings

The sweet, buttery taste of scallop cannot be confused with anything. That is why you can cook various dishes from scallops and serve them with different side dishes. You can bake, fry, steam scallops or cook salads, meatballs, pies or stuff pancakes with them. Even though scallops can be served with almost anything, it is important to know the best scallop pairings to make the dish delicious and healthy.

Side Dishes for Scallops

What is a good side dish for scallops? Here are the 15 best side dishes for scallops, according to Gordon Ramsay:

  1. Cauliflower;
  2. Zucchini;
  3. Broccoli;
  4. Leek;
  5. Pumpkin (for example, pumpkin cream with ginger);
  6. White and green asparagus;
  7. Fennel;
  8. Ginger root;
  9. Rice (e.g. creamy asparagus risotto);
  10. Polenta;
  11. Spinach;
  12. Seaweed;
  13. Eggs;
  14. Lentils;
  15. Chestnuts.

The delicacy of scallop meat makes it a versatile ingredient that can be paired with seasonal vegetables, different sauces and seasonings (orange or lemon juice, saffron, cream) and even more original ingredients like chestnuts, eggs or lentils. The main thing is that the scallop side dish is not much more powerful in aroma and taste.

Read: Why Are Scallops So Popular and Expensive?

What to Serve with Scallops? Best Scallop Pairings

Scallops are popular all over the world — in China, Japan, France and other countries. Scallop meat is low in calories, so it is suitable for the dietary diet of those who wish to lose weight. The variety of methods for cooking scallops is amazing. Scallops can be boiled and stewed in sauces, used as a side dish, grilled, added to soups and salads. 

What pairs well with scallops? Scallop goes well with lean bacon, honey, lemon, grapefruit, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkin, onions, peas, beans, mushrooms, potatoes, rice, olive, vegetable, butter, cream, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, celery, cilantro, coriander, ginger, cashew, avocado, prunes, white wine, champagne.

Popular scallop dishes include:

  • Kebabs;
  • Carpaccio;
  • Scallops in bacon;
  • Scallops with fruits;
  • Scallops in batter;
  • Stewed seafood with cream;
  • Tagliolini;
  • Pilaf with scallops;
  • Seafood jelly;
  • Raw scallops with lemon.

In general, the beauty of a scallop is that, with all the sophistication of its taste, it is very easy to cook. Salt the scallop meat a little and pepper with fresh white pepper, then very quickly fry in olive oil — for two minutes on each side, over high heat, to get a crust. Do not fry for longer, as the scallop will become rubbery.

What meat goes with scallops? Ham, lean bacon and smoked meat go well with scallops. Still, scallops are best served with vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, pumpkin, avocado), rice, pasta, nuts, cheese, honey and sour cream.

What vegetables go well with scallops? Scallops go well with asparagus, beets, small bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and fresh cucumber. Prepare vegetables in advance — boil everything except the cucumber, which must be cut into strips and fry for about thirty seconds in olive oil. Boil asparagus, beetroot and tomatoes, and fry bell peppers.

What Wine Pairs Well with Scallops?

Scallops go well with white wine like Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux or Australia, Chablis, dry Riesling, Chardonnay, Gavi and Soave. The scallop itself has a rather neutral taste, so the selection of drinks that go well with scallops is diverse — from red Cabernet Sauvignon to aromatic Vidal Blanc.

For rich combinations like scallop and bacon, it would be quite appropriate to take a bottle of light cider, light beer, or some kind of soft red like Pinot Noir or Spätburgunder. Choose according to your own taste and specific dish: soave or gavi from Italy, Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis from France, Gruner Veltliner or Dry Riesling.

Scallop Recipes

  1. If you have scallops in shells, you can cook scallops on fire with potatoes. For serving, prepare ber noisette (brown butter), cool slightly, add chopped chili, parsley and lemon (and zest and juice). It’s so good to dip baked scallops and potatoes in this sauce.
  2. A classic scallop dish — seviche. This is a raw scallop, quickly marinated in lime and chili juice. Add more cilantro, some ginger and garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.
  3. The scallop in caramel is very tasty. The scallop itself needs a little salt, heat the pan and add sugar there, melt until caramel. Put the scallop on, fry on one side, turn over, add a spoonful of butter, turn over again. And after taking it off the heat, add fried oyster mushrooms.
  4. Scallops with hollandaise sauce and asparagus. Sprinkle scallops with salt, place in a colander on a bowl and refrigerate for an hour to firm up the flesh. Meanwhile, make the hollandaise sauce with white wine vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. Then place a few scallops tightly together in a fireproof dish, pour over the sauce, and under the salamander for a few seconds or burn with a burner. Serve with asparagus.
  5. Scallops with nutmeg and lemon juice. If you want a more sophisticated dish, blend scallops into a paste with heavy cream, season with nutmeg and lemon juice. Put the pasta in a plastic wrap, roll it up and cook or bake at 42°C for 30 minutes. Add fried cauliflower puree, a drop of truffle oil and raw cauliflower couscous as a crispy seasoning

Tender scallop meat is ideal for preparing all kinds of salads and main courses. Scallop meat can be cooked in a variety of ways:

  • boiled;
  • steamed;
  • eaten raw;
  • fried.

The taste of scallops is emphasized by anise and sesame seeds, ground black and white pepper, lemon, olive oil, nut oil (walnuts, hazelnuts), butter, mushrooms, onions, especially leeks, ham and smoked meats.

Like many kinds of seafood, scallops are especially good for dinner. Add steamed or stewed green vegetables to the side dish, and a simple yet delicious meal is done. Ginger and cilantro perfectly set off the taste and add piquancy. The pleasant, light, slightly sweetish taste of scallop allows you to harmoniously combine it with potatoes, hot peppers, rice, and legumes. Scallops would be good in a salad with arugula and pine nuts. The citrus marinade will add spice to the scallop, and the ginger sauce will make it doubly healthy.

The scallop can be eaten raw, boiled, stewed, steamed or grilled, fried, baked — the choice is huge. It will take only a few minutes to prepare, and the taste of the finished dish will surely delight even sophisticated gourmets.

Uncooked scallops can be seasoned with soy sauce, which nicely opens the sweet taste of the clam. A few drops of lime or lemon juice will reveal the flavor better. Raw young scallops are firm like meat, with a mild marine flavor ranging from sweet creamy to salty. You can make sushi, sashimi, tartar or ceviche with them.

Since the scallops are small and the meat is very tender, the main task is not to overdo it during the cooking process. If you have large scallops, make small, criss-cross cuts on one side before cooking so that the fillets do not remain raw on the inside. Scallops are cooked in 3-4 minutes in a pan or grill. If the muscle is subjected to a longer heat treatment, the meat becomes tough, “rubbery,” and loses all its taste. Fresh scallops will be ready in just 1-2 minutes.

The Bottom Line

The scallop meat tastes sweet and tender. It is saturated with iodine, manganese, iron and other trace elements important for human health. Also, the scallop contains vitamin B12, which is involved in forming the myelin sheath of nerve fibers. Scallop meat is considered a delicacy in many countries.

To prepare a delicious dish with scallops, you should learn how to choose and defrost it correctly to save a scallop’s juiciness and nutritional values. Scallops are a perishable product. Therefore any violation of the terms and conditions of their storage and defrosting can lead to food poisoning.

Scallops are very delicate, and they should not be subject to long heat treatment. To prevent scallop meat from becoming rubbery, you need to cook it in a matter of minutes.

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