Seared Scallops with Sweet and Spicy Orange Sauce

"How quick can you say dinner? - Not quick enough. This literally takes a couple of minutes. Serve this dish over baby spinach; and brown scallion rice on the side. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, and fancy enough to entertain with."

Original recipe yields 4 servings
  • Garnish


  • Serving Size: 1 (332.6 g)
  • Calories 624.3
  • Total Fat - 41.6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 15.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 130.6 mg
  • Sodium - 208.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 34.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.8 g
  • Sugars - 25.6 g
  • Protein - 30.6 g
  • Calcium - 101.1 mg
  • Iron - 3 mg
  • Vitamin C - 35.4 mg
  • Thiamin - 1.3 mg

Step 1

NOTE: First, sea scallops are the large ones vs bay scallops. Now, I prefer DRY scallops. Those are scallops which are fresh and haven't been frozen in a liquid, unlike most scallops you see available these days. Obviously, they are much more expensive; and, delicious - but, not necessary. You can use ones sold in the seafood counter, or even frozen ... but, a few tips.

Step 2

Thaw in a colander, covered with plastic wrap, over a bowl; and, in the refrigerator. Then, let them come to almost room temp. You DO NOT want to cook with cold seafood. Also, dry off the scallops using a paper towel.

Step 3

Scallops ... Once your scallops are thawed and 'warmed up' a bit, season with the coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper on both sides. I like spicy, but go easy with the red pepper flakes. I usually crush them up a bit before adding them. I like to mix all the seasoning together first; sometimes I even add it to my spice grinder, especially if I toast and grind my own coriander. But, not necessary; just make sure the red pepper flakes are crushed up a bit.

Step 4

Saute ... Scallops should be seared in a medium high to high heat saute pan; and, the butter/oil mix should just lightly coat the bottom. The amount will depend on the size pan you decide to use. Also, NEVER over crowd your pan, you need room, so the scallops can sear, and get a nice crust - not steam. And, a cast iron pan is best, but any heavy stainless pan will work. I don't recommend a nonstick pan; however, it will work, if that is all you have.

Step 5

Saute the scallops on the first side until golden brown ... and, if the scallops don't want to be flipped (sticking), don't flip them - they aren't ready. Once the scallops develops a nice crust, they are ready to be flipped. Then, flip and saute the other side, but not nearly as long, just a minute or two. They go quickly. Just a couple of minutes per side is all it takes. You do NOT want to overcook them.

Step 6

Transfer the scallops to a serving platter, on a bed of baby spinach; cover with foil, and let them rest as you make the sauce. The heat from the scallops will help wilt the spinach, which is what you want.

Step 7

Sauce ... Add the marmalade, chili sauce, lime juice, and mirin to the same pan, and mix well. Again, you can use white wine, or just water, if you don't have mirin. Mix well; then bring to a light boil. Reduce, and simmer just a minute until everything is warmed through.

Step 8

Serve and ENJOY!... Pour the warm sauce over the scallops and spinach; and, garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. I like to serve brown rice on the side, tossed with fresh scallions, for a quick and easy side dish.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



This made a lovely dinner for dh and I. We loved the flavors and ate every bite. We had brown rice mixed with snow peas, carrots, celery, shallots and lemon with it. Delicious!

(15 May 2020)


I have just discovered another favorite scallop recipe. This is heavenly. It looks and tastes like 5 star dining. You will get raves over this recipe. I love the raw baby spinach. The scallops and sauce just start to wilt the spinach making it perfect and not watery and over cooked. I only prepared 7 scallops (about a pound) but made the whole sauce. This will be made again for sure!

review by:
(17 Mar 2014)