Pan Fried Scallops in Lemon Mustard Sauce

scallops w- fried capers.jpg

Pike Place Fish Market is another one of our cherished fish vendors in the market. They can be found tossing fish in the entrance of The Arcade. In addition to sharing their seemingly endless energy with others, their products are an exceptional quality that our chef team appreciates.

Founded in 1907, Market Spice sells quality spices, salts and teas in bulk, which are essential for any chef’s pantry. Their knowledgeable team is always willing to spend time with each customer to get them the right product for their recipe.



Place scallops on plate and dab away moisture with paper towel.  Season scallops with rub and salt right before cooking.

Drain capers and place on paper towel. Heat 1T oil over medium high heat in a stainless steel or cast iron pan. Once very hot, add the capers to oil. Fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove and place on paper towel with a slotted spoon.

Return pan to high heat and add 2 T oil. Pan should be smoking.

Dab scallops again with paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Sear sea scallops for 2 minutes on each side basting gently with excess oil. Add a little more oil if needed to baste.  Remove scallops from pan. Tent with foil to keep warm. Internal temperature should read between 120-125 degrees F.

Deglaze with lemon juice and white wine scraping the brown bites. The liquid will reduce quickly. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, then whisk in cold butter. Return the scallops to pan to coat with sauce and serve with fresh parsley and fried capers.

Serve with sautéed vegetables or toss sauce with pasta

Serves: 4

Time : 20 minutes


1 tsp  Smoked Paprika

1 tsp Dried Oregano

1/8 Garlic Powder

1 lb Sea Scallops (assume 2-3 per person)

Pinch salt

2 T Vegetable oil


3 T Lemon juice

¼ C Dry white wine

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 T Butter- cold unsalted


1-2 T Fried Capers

Fresh Chopped parsley


Salting- As a general rule with seafood, it’s best to salt right before cooking. Waiting too long can result in small droplets of water forming on the surface which will be a deterrent to getting a dark brown sear and may make the scallop stick to the pan.

Hot Pan- It is essential that your pan is very hot. If the scallop sticks to the pan give it another minute and add another T of oil. It should release when it forms its brown sear, otherwise referred to as the Maillard reaction.

Spices- To maximize flavor, purchase your spices in the whole form, toast and grind before using.

Finishing- The key to a glossy sauce is finishing it with cold cubed butter, whisking it in until completely emulsified.

Beyond the Recipe 

Rubs-  Play around with blending different spices to have go-to rubs on hand for poultry, steaks and seafood. Smoked paprika adds a unique punch of flavor and is a go-to spice in my pantry.

 Other ideas for seafood rubs:

mustard powder, sweet paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes

cayenne, onion powder, dried thyme and black pepper

Za’atar is another one of my go-to pantry rubs

Fried Garnish- The purpose of the capers is to add texture and flavor dimension. Another delicious topping for many dishes as well as salads are fried shallots. These little touches that make a dish exceptional.