Fresh Scallops Recipe: Seared Scallops with Pea Purée and Pancetta

Scallops are a delicious shellfish enjoyed in various cuisines around the world.

Scallops can be found in every ocean on Earth, with the greatest population located in the Indo-Pacific. They are great served raw as sashimi, smoked, fried, baked in the shell—there are so many possibilities for this exquisite fresh scallops recipe.

Today’s recipe for seared scallops with pea puree and pancetta is aesthetically pleasing and tastes amazing too. It’s important to buy “dry” scallops and not “wet” scallops, especially when you’re purchasing them for searing purposes.

“Wet” scallops are treated with a chemical called STP, or sodium tripolyphosphate. While STP is very safe to consume, it loosens the protein structures in the scallops, causing them to soak up a lot of water. This is great for the seafood vendors as the scallops end up weighing more, but any foods that are too watery are almost impossible to sear properly.

If you can find them, buy “dry” scallops. These ones have not been treated with STP and will be much easier to sear. “Wet” scallops usually have a whitish appearance while “dry” scallops are more translucent. At Cameron’s Seafood, we sell fresh scallops by the pound that are “dry” and ready to cook! There are about 20-30 scallops in a pound.

About 15 minutes before searing the scallops, sprinkle them with a bit of salt. Even dry scallops have a bit of water, and the salt will help draw the liquid out. When searing scallops, it is important to use a very hot pan. The high heat will give you that beautiful and impressive golden crust on at least one side of the scallops.

Now we are ready to cook. Here is a recipe for seared scallops with pea puree and pancetta by Mary Berg that we love from the Gusto website. It’s simple to make and it doesn’t require too many ingredients. Enjoy!

Seared Scallops with Pea Puree

Skill Level: Beginner
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 8 lg Cameron’s Seafood Sea Scallops
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup of frozen peas thawed
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves finely chopped
  • lemon juiced and zested
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • ½ cup pancetta diced
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 small handful of fresh pea shoots


  1. Using a food processor or an immersion blender, puree the peas, one clove of garlic, mint, lemon zest and juice, ½ tsp salt, black pepper, and melted butter until smooth. Set the puree to the side while you cook the pancetta and the scallops.
  2. Cook the pancetta in a large frying pan over medium heat until it is crispy. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pancetta on a paper towel lined plate. Place the pan back on the stove over medium high heat.
  3. Pour the oil into the pan and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is very hot, place your salted scallops in the pan. Don’t move the scallops until they are golden brown on the one side—this should take about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the scallops over when golden, and immediately add the cold butter and the one clove of garlic to the pan. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes while basting the scallops with the butter/oil mixture in the pan.
  5. If your pan was hot enough, you should be able to get both sides of the scallop nice and brown. If you only get the first side browned though, don’t worry too much. The side that didn’t brown will be down on the plate and concealed by the pea puree.
  6. Remove the scallops from the pan and place them onto a plate. Prepare four appetizer plates with the pea puree. You can place a dollop of it in the middle or make an artistic swoosh across the plate.
  7. Space 2 scallops out on each of the plates on top of the puree. Now sprinkle the crispy pancetta and the pea shoots over the scallops. This is a vibrant and delicious dish that is sure to be a hit.

Buy Fresh Sea Scallops Online

Visit the Cameron’s Seafood online store to purchase fresh sea scallops and other great seafood options. Place your order and get it delivered right to your door!

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