Caramelized Scallops

Caramelized Scallops

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We continue sharing our favorite New Year’s Eve Scallop dinner recipes. Caramelized Scallops is a winner! The caramelized sauce is simple to make and the best part is you can make it earlier in the day. Our New Year Eve’s dinner seem fairly effortless! We made a side of Jasmine Rice in our rice cooker to accompany the scallops. The sauce has some heat depending upon how much red pepper flakes and scallions you add. We hope you enjoy this simple but yet gourmet meal to ring in the new year!!

Caramelized Scallops plated on top of a bed of rice rice with crushed red pepper flakes and green onions
Caramelized Scallops

Preparing the Caramelized Scallops

My preference is to use fresh scallops over the frozen variety. Unfortunately the frozen scallops dramatically reduce in size when cooking them. Given the cost of scallops, we only purchase fresh. We start with trimming the side muscle from the scallops. Then gently rinse and dry each scallop. Do not skip the step of properly drying them since excess liquid can cause them to steam. Have all your ingredients ready since once you start to cook the Caramelized Scallops the process moves quickly. This includes your side dishes. Have them heated and ready to go! Unless you are great at quickly multi-tasking across dishes!

Making the Caramelized Sauce

The caramelized sauce can be made earlier in the day to save time when ready to prepare this dish. In a small measuring cup add ¼ cup of the water and the Asian fish sauce. Take out a heavy saucepan adding sugar and remaining ¼ cup of the water. Stir to combine. Heat the sauce over medium heat until the sugar liquefies. When the sugar liquefies you do not need to stir it any more. Once the sugar starts to caramelize boil for about 8- to 12-minutes to darken the color. But be careful to not burn the mixture. I would keep an eye on it and not multi-task by doing other activities. Sugar can burn quickly!

When desire color is reached, remove the saucepan from the stovetop. Slowly add the water and fish sauce mixture to the caramelized sugar and stir. Remember the pan is hot so add it slowly to cool down the sugar mixture. The sugar mixture may harden. Place saucepan back onto stovetop, and let the mixture boil for a few more minutes until it is smooth. At this point you can store the mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare the meal. We add the shallots, red pepper flakes, and scallions when ready to serve the Caramelized Scallops. 

Preparing the Caramelized Scallops

Remove the caramelized sauce out of the refrigerator adding to a braising pan to reheat. Take a taste test. Mine was a little too salty so I added 2 tablespoons of water and it turned out great. Now add the shallots, red pepper flakes, and scallions and warm through. Place the scallops into the braising pan. Cook on each side until they reach 130°F internal temperature and the flesh is milky white, or opaque and firm. Immediately plate the Caramelized Scallops and enjoy!!

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Caramelized Scallops

Caramelized Scallops

Pin Recipe
Caramelized Scallops is a winner! The caramelized sauce is simple to make and you can make it earlier in the day. Our dinner seem fairly effortless!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Scallops, Seafood
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Caramelized Scallops
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 se
se
Calories: 104kcal
Author: Bernice

Ingredients

Scallops Ingredients

  • 12 Scallops

Caramelized Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup Asian fish sauce
  • cup sugar
  • ½ shallot minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 scallions diced

Serving Suggestions

  • Cooked Jasmine Rice
  • Topped with scallions and red pepper flakes

Instructions

Sauce Preparation

  • The sauce can be made earlier in the day to save time when ready to prepare this dish.
  • In a small measuring cup add ¼ cup of the water and the Asian fish sauce.
  • In a heavy saucepan add the sugar and the remaining ¼ cup of the water. Stir to combine.
  • Heat the sauce over medium heat until the sugar liquefies. When the sugar liquefies you do not need to stir it any more.
  • Once the sugar starts to caramelize boil for about 8- to 12-minutes to darken the color – but be careful to not burn the mixture.
  • Remove the saucepan from the stovetop. Slowly add the water and fish sauce mixture to the caramelized sugar and stir. Remember the pan is hot so add it slowly to cool down the sugar mixture.
  • The sugar mixture may harden. Place saucepan back onto stovetop, and let the mixture boil for a few more minutes until it is smooth. At this point you can store the mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare the meal.
  • Add the shallots, red pepper flakes, and scallions when ready to serve.

Scallops Preparation

  • Trim the side muscle from the scallops.
  • Gently rinse and dry each Scallop.
  • Add the caramelized sauce to your braising pan and reheat.
  • Take a taste test. Mine was a little more salty than I liked so I added 2 tablespoons of water and it turned out great.
  • Add shallots, red pepper flakes, and scallions and warm through.
  • Add the scallops and cook on each scallop side until they reach 130°F internal temperature and the flesh is milky white, or opaque and firm.
  • I like to serve my scallops over Jasmine Rice.
  • Plate and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

Calories are approximate depending upon serving size and ingredients. Does not include side dish of Jasmine Rice. 
Nutrition Facts
Caramelized Scallops
Amount Per Serving (4 serv)
Calories 104 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 1317mg57%
Potassium 144mg4%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 30IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

8 comments

    1. Thank you. There is not much fish sauce so I might go with a white wine or chicken broth. You could also do soy sauce plus rice vinegar. Hope that helps!

      1. The nice part is you can make the dressing earlier to do your taste tests. And if you do not like it change to another dressing.

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