The Perfect Scallop

11 Mar

I am insecure with many things I cook. But scallops? Oh I’m good at scallops.

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My favorite things about scallops: their delectable sweetness, their ability to morph flavors and be perfect with whatever surrounding you choose, and the fact that all you need is salt and pepper to make them the (people take .edu things more seriously I don’t know why this hasn’t caught on)

About a year ago, I did a post about scallops thinking I knew what I was doing. I mean, I used FLOUR. I am ashamed and have since removed the post. Scallops are one of those meals that impress people when done at home — and it cannot get any easier than this.


Oh god. I’m sad. Typing this out is now painful.

ANY. HOW. Now I will angrily type this out dammit shit fuck balls HERE:

STEP FUCKING ONE: It is crucial that your scallops are super, super dry. Oh please, please do not buy them frozen and thaw them, I beg of you. When you are ready to start your super awesome meal, lay out your scallops onto a bed of 2 or 3 paper towels. Dab em dry, let em sit for a bit, turn em over, and let them sit for a little bit longer.

STEP FUCKING TWO: When they are nice and dry, season them WELL! Scallops are super sweet — one of the carbiest of the ummmm uhhhhhhhh *opens new window, wikipedias scallops* marine bivalve mollusks of the pectinidae family also the cosmopolitan family wtf anyhow they’re sweet so they can handle more kosher salt than you’d think. I heavily pepper mine as well — fiiiiine pepper so it don’t burn, worrrrrd. Season both sides and let those little marine bivalve mollusks chillax.

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STEP THREE (not mad anymore): Take your pan (preferably stainless steel because it gets nice and hot) and put in one tablespoon of unsalted butter and one tablespoon of oil (canola, veg, grapeseed, peanut — not olive!). Get it nice and hot on high (smoking) and set your timer for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. The ones i have photographed are a little under 2 minutes because I love a dark sear outside and the middle ends up just perfect. Don’t just use oil — the butter is what will make it nice and brown.

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STEP FOUR: Put your scallops on and listen to that fat sear your scallops to perfection. DFWI! That’s “don’t fuck with it”! The urge to move your marine bovine sandy pollock cosmopolitan hotels will be strong. FIGHT THE URGE! When the timer is up, flip em and do the other side for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.

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STEP FIVE: Take pictures with your dog because she is adorbz.

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Of course, you can cook these scallops a little more or a little less depending on how you like them. My mom likes them borderline raw so I just do a little less than a minute on each side. Dad likes them well done, so I go a little over two minutes each side. Remember not to crowd the pan — I do just 3 or 4 at a time and clean out the pan between batches. The entire cooking process is so quick that it’s not a big deal and it is totally worth it for the beautiful little bastards.

What have I plated them with, you ask?

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To me, corn and scallops go together like courtney stodden and brown urine. I have no idea what that means but she looks like she would have stinky pee.

Before I even start the too-easy scallops process, I take a can (I KNOW RIGHT, A CAN) of sweet whole corn kernels, some diced up cherry tomatoes, basil and red bell pepper and sauté it all up in a pan with a bit of butter. This then becomes a nice little bed for my marine orion constellation mandalay bay hotel mollusks.

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Started the caesar as well. Because that caesar is bannnnngggginnnnnn.

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Voila! You have done it. And you will love it. The perfect scallop.



98 Responses to “The Perfect Scallop”

  1. marky kirk March 11, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    mmm good useful post, kinda always wondered about cooking scallops always hit and miss though. Also liked them ever since saw one of those Gordon Ramsay kitch nightmare progs where a chef served him an ‘off’ scallop 🙂

  2. REL March 11, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Does this work? Hey, the comment section is responding with Page Not Found. Maybe you got sick of all the glowing comments. 🙂

    My comment: THANK YOU for retyping and posting. I love scallops and now I feel like I could make them. AND, you captured so well what we all feel like when the technology F’s up and ruins our shit. I love the way you write. Thanks,


  3. christinakjaerfavrbo March 11, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Mention of brown urine in a post about delicious seafood? But of course! This is why I keep following this blog. Oh, and the recipes are lovely too, of course…

  4. steaks March 11, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    i’ve always done well with scallops like this, although I try to keep it closer to a minute and a half for each side. probably still ends up closer to two minutes, but at least they don’t get overcooked and rubbery.

  5. martetatin March 11, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Such a big contrast with your having-your-period-and-being-cranky text and the peaceful, happy picture. Love it though!

  6. Cunning Stunt March 11, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    It’s hard to follow the recipe… can’t see through the tears from laughing at your angst. Funny stuff!

  7. ewitz March 11, 2013 at 10:24 am #


    I your orgasmic enthusiasm about our little bivalves you forgot a key point. Period induced amnesia, perhaps?

    Score the ends of the scallops about one quarter of an inch in perpendicular lines. Will definitely produce a more visually appealing finished product and more surface area for the salt and pepper.

    • chrissyteigen March 11, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      That scallop/scoring sounds very red lobsterian. I think my photos show they look perfectly fine without but to each their own. Xx

      • Andrea Oates July 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

        They look awesome, Chrissy! I freaking LUUURRRVE scallops; I think the best ones I’ve ever had were at The Stinking Rose in San Francisco. Can’t wait to make these – I bet they’re just as good if not better!

      • lexie July 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

        chrissy you need to make a gumbo recipe!!!!!

  8. E. March 11, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    These look gorgeous – I can’t wait to try them tonight!

    Excellent point about NOT using olive oil…tried that once and set off the fire alarm in my apartment due to all the smoke. Whoopsies.

    • Emma March 11, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      Glad you explained that because I was still going to use Olive Oil, but nevermind. Thanks for the tip!

      • E. March 14, 2013 at 8:03 am #

        I actually cooked these with grapeseed oil, but forgot the butter. Chrissy is right – the butter is a key ingredient! Mine still tasted great, but didn’t look as deliciously caramelized as hers.

  9. Jaclyn March 11, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    You are the I will be making this shortly!

  10. Jordan March 11, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    So simple! I love it.

  11. Kelley March 11, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Another delicious bedding for Scallops – blend corn, red pepper, jalapeno and a touch of cream in a food processor until slightly chunky. Add in fresh basil, top with your perfect scallops, take a sip of red wine and die from happiness 🙂

  12. Alex March 11, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Scallops have got to be one of my favourite meals ever. My issue is that I live in the mountains, so fresh scallops are hard to come by. I’ve made friends with a fish guy in town so he calls me whenever freshies come in. Yes. It is true.

  13. Kim Le March 11, 2013 at 11:43 am #



  14. natashagregorio March 11, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Ugh, I want to go home and cook right now. Also, you should probably know that “The urge to move your marine bovine sandy pollock cosmopolitan hotels will be strong.” is now my gchat status. Real life.

    Stop being so fucking awesome. Love it!

  15. Sandy McDermott March 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    If I can get my husband to eat any kind of mollusk I would love try this recipe. Looks like the

    Perhaps I can also take your example with cooking them to different doneness. Last night I was having an anxiety attack at the stove making steaks because my husband likes his well done. Waah, feels like I’m killing an already dead cow every time.

  16. shaddy March 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Hilarious. Love your wit. Im gonna repost this on my blog for all of my 12+ followers.

  17. Karin March 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Oh my God. THANK YOU!! My first attempt at scallops was a massive fail and I’ve been too scared to try again. I am going to do this tonight! You are the best, ever.

  18. Brooke March 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    But really why hasn’t anyone made a thing yet?

  19. Anne March 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    There’s no need to score scallops…in fact, you’ll just get unattractive and dried out little “hairs” on the top and it will definitely look very Red Lobsterian. Not for the seafood lover in me, that’s for sure.

  20. Natalie Fernandez (@NatalieDRB) March 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    lol this made my day. making a list of recipes to make when my kitchen remodel is done and scallops are on there. maybe with that chipotle marinade that you shared a while back. mmm. Now I am hungry.

  21. thefoodandwinehedonist March 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Ok, the dog is very adorable. And I’m SOOOO using “” So I’ve occasionally had problems with the fricking things sticking. Is it b/c they weren’t dry completely? advice?

  22. Rebecca March 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I think scoring makes them less (I take succulent very seriously)
    IMHO, I don’t cook them, but I eat them when I can.

  23. @DualVitality March 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    EVEN when you have to re-type – maddening – you are still polite 🙂 Love it. Passionate but polite with it. Furious but not shouty.

    Btw love this. Paprika/cumin goes down a treat too and looks cool colour-wise. If it sourness ur after, try sumac. Lovely with chicken and seafood. Pretty purple colour too.
    Thanks Chrissy!

  24. @Grammrsnob March 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Words cannot express the brilliance of this post. Hilarious, adorbz, sweet, wonderful, beautiful might be a good start.. Hey.. that describes you as well.. go figure. Love it.

  25. LauraJacob March 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Can’t wait to try this! Have you tried smoked olive oil? So’s got a real smokey kick to it..I just picked some up and am trying to think of ways to use it (besides devouring a loaf of bread with it).

  26. gottagetbaked March 12, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    You’ve got some mad scallop cookin’ skills, girl. I tried once and failed miserably, for the very reasons you so eloquently railed against in this post. I’ve been too intimidated to try even since. After reading this, I think I should man up and try making them again.

  27. nikkie March 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    you’re the…. *only food blog I follow

  28. Scott March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    One thing about buying them from the grocery store . Make sure they are untreated scallops. Some are treated with TSP (tri-polyphosphate) to increase longevity. They are not ‘bad’, but may be older. These are ones that smell great before they get cooked and ‘off’ after cooking. You may have to ask. Sometimes it’s not marked on some containers, but will have been from their supplier.
    Great post.
    Another suggestion for bacon lovers. Rendered slow Pancetta, drain, add Shallots, Corn and wilt Spinach with a touch of Balsamic Vinegar.

  29. Susan Johnson March 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Chrissy- I have become a huge fan of yours! Love the new tv show! Keep it up!

  30. Melissa Abeja March 13, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    This is how you blog about food. This is the right way.
    The only way.

  31. Mrs C March 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    When I’m craving for scalops, I go to the restaurant and order. Never dared to try cooking them at home until now! You made it look and sound so fucking easy that I have to try this! Hell if I failed this super easy steps! Thanks a zillion for this!

    Mrs C

  32. lindsey March 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Chrissy – I had Scallops with caramelized bacon bits on top…..ah-may-zing! You have to try that next!

  33. Nade March 15, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Chrissy, are you really this fun and funny in real life? You are an absolute hoot. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU! 🙂

  34. Hank March 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Those look awesome! If you’re ever in Austin you should go to Max’s Wine Dive and try their pistachio crusted scallops, they use barley, dried cranberry, and sweet chili

  35. msmorphosis March 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    You are the funniest person I’ve discovered in a long time. I can’t tell my boyfriend about you because he thinks models are mean and I think that’s why he’s comfortable settling on me. Anyways, even if it has to be a secret you’re still my new favorite.

  36. Alvaro Mendez March 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Hey Chrissy, i want to talk business with you (foodwise). Who should I talk to? Where can I reach you?
    Let me know thanks a lot!

  37. Stephanie March 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Hi Chrissy, I recently discovered your blog and have since become obsessed with it! And if I’m being honest with you as well…so funny and real and awesome. Anyways I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. The funny thing is I’m a vegetarian (sometimes eat fish) so obviously I won’t be making any of your meat recipes but I still love reading your posts because they are so entertaining. So yeah you even have a vegetarian following on your mostly meat food blog. You rock.

  38. Aphida March 26, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Sawadee Ka Chrissy!
    writing to you from Thailand 🙂 I’m loving your blog btw, Im finding it very addictive even though I’m terrible at cooking but Im great at eating though… I simply need more practice in the kitchen …. so you should really do Thai foodie your blog 🙂

  39. Kine March 28, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    I LOVE your blog!!!! Can´t stop reading it, you are way too funny and the food looks amazing!

  40. lenny April 1, 2013 at 4:01 am #

    My ex-husband got my dog in the divorce settlement, can I still make these scallops?? I like to follow your recipes to the fucking letter! X

  41. Lyka Boss April 4, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Scallops seem so intimidating, but this recipe looks easy enough!

  42. Adam April 5, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Reblogged this on Not the droids you're looking for… and commented:
    Testing the reblogs.

  43. stacy April 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I just found your blog from Josh Hillis’s site. I have a Frenchie too! His name is Cream Cheese and he plays basketball….He’s gonna be on America’s Got Talent! I’m posting his video…I like your diet and workout advice….similar to mine!

  44. Matt April 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    very delushious!! 🙂

  45. Susannah April 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    I’m sure there is a better avenue for this but 120 characters are too few and u don’t follow me so can’t dm u. Annnny how, just want to say I LOVE and respect you for speaking ur mind in a world where so few people have the courage of their convictions. You tell the truth in ur tweets and you don’t care about being a people pleaser which I’m finding more and more people with ur kind of celeb influence and power do on the daily. Ugh. It makes me sick. No one says anything real any more. Everyone just says what the majority of people would like to hear. Chrissy, you are a breath of fresh air on my twitter feed and FYI I am a woman and truth be told a fan of yours and then I found out who ur amazing fiancé was. (Not totes a smooth rnb fan) but he does all kinds of great stuff musically and I probs would have never heard it if it wasn’t for you. Coat tails? Pppft. Girl, you stay real and awesome. Word.

  46. Jason Fonceca (@ryzeonline) April 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    O M F G.

    Delicious food. God I love food.
    Super emotional playful energized chick.
    And much more.

    Best food blog I've seen since that comic book cooking one 🙂

    • Susannah April 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Dammit, I thought Chris replied to me. You are right though. If u st discovered this, I better leave u to it.

  47. shellbell April 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    hey hot stuff! I just re-read this and thought of a tip. I work on a yacht and we just got a new chef who is amazing. When he put his scallops in the hot oil, he pushed each scallop into a vertical position and held it for about five seconds. that way, the scallops held their shape and stayed upright instead of being all being all triangle shaped. Anyway, just thought of you when I saw him do that. Can’t wait for your next blog!

  48. linda8471 April 16, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    好喜欢这道菜 成分搭配很好!11

  49. Samantha S. May 2, 2013 at 3:06 am #

    Chrisssssyyyyyy – I need a blog post from you in my life!

  50. kellie May 3, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    Just discovered your blog, and had to tell you I’m so impressed by your wit, confidence and positivity. Must be hard to maintain that when you’re in the spotlight, but I’m looking forward to more from you x

  51. gotsheila May 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Hi Chrissy,

    I started following you after I saw you on WWHL because you are hilariass. I can’t cook anything which is a bit of a disappointment for my husband although he’s a good guy and rolls with it. He does the cooking thankfully until now! I decided to try your scallop recipe and to our surprise, they came out great! I shocked both of us and I owe you for the success of the scallops! I’m going to go through your index and see if there is anything my 2 kids will eat! Who knows what will become of me now, lol!

    Sheila, mom to Conor and Aidan~who is recovering from autism.

  52. rachelsjunkinthetrunk June 11, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    Oh goodness! I love scallops! I so have to try this! Love your blog! First time ever hearing about you. Shamefully I came via Amanda’s twitter! Lol Small world right?

  53. Lance Kitagawa | Banzai Jerky June 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Wow Chrissy you really are a foodie! Love all of your food posts, recipes and pics. Especially the bacon. I just started a company with my cousin. It’s called Banzai Jerky. And we are working on BACON JERKY right now! It’s on kickstarter if you want to check it out:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!

  54. trixpin June 14, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    I’m suppose to be doing stuff but i can’t stop reading your blog. Grr. Your write in and endless stream of totally comical consciousness and it’s far too funny to stop looking at. . Must. Leave. Webpage.
    PS – Scallops look yum.

    • Hssons June 18, 2013 at 12:44 am #

      Excellent! Even a Swede can do this.

  55. Andrea June 26, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    What’s better than scallops?? Scallops and bacon, my two favorite food groups! I prefer Coleman’s uncured bacon (Sprouts)(wayyy less sodium) and coincidentally the grease leftover browns seasoned scallops perfectly!

  56. eatwithjess1 July 10, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    That looks amazing! Wish you blogged more…love your fresh take on eating!! 🙂

  57. Lynn July 17, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    I make scallops this way every time now and they are great. Thank you!

  58. Samantha August 6, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    Gorgeous, hysterical, and a great cook? Not fair, lady.

  59. Rick the non-active pilot August 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    You’re a funny human. Also, you have made me hungry. Also, also, I don’t have a dog, so I’ll have to skip that step. Unless borrowing a neighbor’s dog counts. Hard to hold up a Great Dane, though.

  60. Paige August 13, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Girl, it’s time to update this blog! You can’t tell me you stopped eating or cooking in March!!

  61. Patricia August 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    come back to us! we LOVE following you on instagram and twitter and know you are very busy with the wedding but….. WE MISS YOU!!!!!!!!

  62. BollywoodBlonde (@BollywoodBlonde) September 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I just found your site and I love you. I might even try scallops some day now!

  63. Sandy September 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Love you and love your site! I am a 65 year old grandmother of 23 who has not worn underwear in 30 years! I drop the F bom on occasion and I just love how you are (a real person and not afraid to show it. I THINK JOHN IS TOTALLY LUCKY TO HAVE YOU! He is just adorable and I think the two of you make a beautiful couple. Keep up the good work!

  64. Rebecca Fieldhouse September 17, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Congrats on your big day, Chrissy!! And keep up the posting, I’ve always loved this site! -Rebecca from the Fieldhouse Kitchen

  65. carmen September 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Ok so I just re-read your whole blog, yup it’s my 2nd time around. Decided again that you are probs the most awesome human girl ever. And we have the same taste buds. SALT tooth, fish sauce, egg yolk and noodles and EXTRA spicy on everything. I just wish you would blog more, I mean I know you’re on your honeymoon (not a stalker) and all but yeah you left me hanging. It’s all gravy tho u still the bomb. Oh! And you have a frenchie too! Congrats to you and Mr. John!

  66. Arya September 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe. I never cooked scallop before. But, I want to try cooking scallop after reading this article. I hope that even it will be my first time to cook scallop, I can make the perfect scallop like you.

  67. Jenny Bellanca October 12, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    You are hilarious, I had no idea. Love your blog. Don’t sweat the haters – easier said than done but know that they have to be dreadfully unhappy in their lives to write negative things about other people. XO

  68. Leena Vygotsky October 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Samaticroply Hello (I’d try to also say it in norwegian, but i only know their bad words)
    Thanks for this recipe ! breaks it down clearly/simply enough for me to try 🙂
    I have a follow-up post request ! Do you know how to use the left over oil for a sauce to go with the scallops ? That is what my big sis does, and i am not allowed to ask her for cooking tips so……XP
    Also, please keep on blogging, Me luuuvvv reading ❤

  69. KimiSteinhorst October 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    I feel like I am a born-again scallop seaererer(er)!! The tips you left make perfect sense and yet totally go against what I had been doing (bc I read crappy tips off of a popular cooking site) So stoked to try this out with friends the next time we’re in the mood for seafood. Can I continue using coconut oil to sear mine? You didn’t mention that oil in your list but that was what was originally recommended to me.

  70. Catherine Dream December 30, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I remember reading this post aaaaaaages ago, and now I read it – it still makes me smile :)))
    I’ve never cooked a scallop! Sacrilege.

  71. Orange-ina19 March 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Hi! New to your blog because I AM A DAMN FOOL. Don’t worry, I caught up entirely and immediately, Love this post, love all your posts. Scallops are pound for pound my absolute favorite meat, so I was always too scared to make them at home. I thought surely I can’t be smart enough, coordinated enough, anything enough to make seared scallops. But this looks so easy and delicious (delushious?)! I am writing my Whole Foods shopping list now. Thanks Chrissy! Keep the posts coming. For real. Slap your own ass on your SI cover whenever some creepo blogger puts you down. Keep on going, girl! They ain’t nothing. Hooray!

  72. Carley March 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    So GOOD! I did add some small pieces of maple bacon with the corn/tomato/red pepper mix.

  73. mariana T March 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    I finally made them!! and it was all because of this post… thank you.

    So easy and so good.

  74. Sothearvy (Terry) March 19, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

    I love you! Your instagram post makes me happy. My boyfriend thinks it hilarious.. And I also have an English bulldog, his name is Goose (Top Gun). Wishing you and John a lifetime of happiness!

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