Caramelized Scallops in a Lemon Wine Sauce

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer

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Caramelized Scallops in a Lemon Wine Sauce
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  • 12 large or 24 medium/small sea scallops
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoon clarified butter *see note
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, spread on a flat plate
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
  • 12 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest


  1. Rinse and dry the scallops well.
  2. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a skillet (not non-stick!) on medium-high for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the clarified butter and swirl to coat the pan.
  5. When the butter begins to foam, sugar the scallops quickly.
  6. Working quick, coat one side of each scallop in sugar, grasping the sides and using a gentle twisting motion to help the sugar adhere.
  7. Place the scallops sugar side down in the skillet and sauté for 2 1/2 minutes. If the sugar starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat.
  8. Flip the scallops over and cook for 1 minute more.
  9. Add the white wine and lemon juice to the pan and reduce by half, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  10. Transfer the scallops to a platter or serving dishes.
  11. Pour the pan juices over the top and garnish with chopped parsley, chives and lemon zest.
  12. Serve immediately.


To make clarified butter:
1. Melt the Butter – Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Once all the butter has melted, you want the butter at a very low and gentle simmer. Adjust the heat as needed.

2. Skim the Foam – Continue simmering the butter over low heat. Skim the foam as it rises to the surface. Solid particles will also start dropping to the bottom of the pan; these can be strained out later. Don’t worry about skimming every last bit of foam; the remaining foam can be strained out later.

3. Strain and Store – Place the strainer over the heat-proof bowl and line it with the cheesecloth or filter. When no more foam forms on the surface, remove the butter from heat and pour it through the strainer, leaving the solids in the bottom of the pan. Once the butter has cooled a bit, pour it into a jar and store in the fridge for up to three months or freeze for up to six months.

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