The Neutron Chef

Butter-Seared Scallop on Blanched Spinach

This dish was pretty much inspired from one of the episodes of Masterchef USA, where I learnt that the perfect seared scallop has a soft, pink centre covered by a beautiful brown crust. Sadly, my scallops were slightly overcooked on my first attempt due to poor timing 😦 Anyway, this dish takes very little time to prepare, and is quite healthy because the flavour of the dish ideally comes from the natural sweetness of the scallop rather than from seasoning.


Scallops (1 Scallop per person, at least 4cm in diameter)

Butter (A healthier alternative would be low fat Margarine, but it would be less fragrant)

A Bunch of Spinach


1) Rub the scallops with a tiny, tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Leave it in the fridge while you blanch the spinach.

2) Wash the spinach in running water, then soak it in a bowl of salt water (to kill bacteria). Once done, you may slice the spinach into parts (two to four, depending on your mood).

3) Optional: You can choose to prepare the spinach with or without the stalks. If you want the stalks, be warned that you may have to remove the tough fibres on the stalks by breaking the stalks into half and tearing away the tough covering.


1) Prepare a pot of boiling water. Soak the spinach into the boiling water for roughly 30 seconds, then remove using a strainer and soak the spinach in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Strain the blanched spinach (make sure it is dry) before serving a spoonful on each plate. Shape it nicely into any shape your heart desires.

2) Heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter for 1 min on medium heat. Place the scallops in the pan and leave them there for 1.5 mins (once you move it the brown crust will not form). Use a pair of tongs to flip the scallops and leave them there for another 1.5 mins. Once done, remove and serve on the bed of blanched spinach. Pour the remaining butter in the pan on top of the scallops.

* I made a mistake by cooking ALL 4 of my scallops together, so all were slightly overcooked and lost the pink centre. If you have the time, cook the scallops either 1 by 1 or 2 by 2 so that you have a rough gauge of the timing needed to sear the scallops properly.


1) Another nice way I thought of to present the dish was to replace the spinach with blanched tiny asparagus. Using the scallop as the base, place a 2-3 stalks of tiny asparagus on the scallop in an asymmetrical fashion and serve.

This entry was published on January 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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