Quick And Simple Scallop Crudo

When it comes to quick, no cook appetizers to kick off a nice meal at home, there is nothing better than scallop crudo. The prep time is 10 minutes all in, and features a truly quick marinade that plays off the natural sweetness of the scallops.

But first: what is crudo? Crudo is the Italian word for raw. When you see crudo on a restaurant menu, it features thinly sliced fish or seafood that is often marinated in olive oil. Because the dish is eaten raw, it’s super important to use a really high quality piece of fish. For this recipe, we’re going with Asian flavors and featuring my all time favorite seafood: scallops!

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Sea scallops would 100% be my last meal on earth. I could eat them weekly, and if you do a quick search on Well Seasoned, you’ll find quite a few recipes already, including how to pan sear sea scallops, our weeknight Thai curry with scallops, and this lemon garlic pasta with scallops and shrimp.

In this crudo recipe, the scallops are paired with a simple marinade made with olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, and ginger paste. It’s light, refreshing, delicate (don’t worry, adding Thai chili will give it some heat!), and a perfect appetizer for date nights or easy entertaining.

Refer: What Is Mousse Au Chocolat | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

It’s about creating a balance between texture, acidity, heat, and salt. And guess what, this recipe checks all the boxes! Let’s make it.

Ingredients for scallop crudo

Ingredients For Scallop Crudo

First and foremost, buy the absolute freshest sea scallops you can find! Yes, you can eat scallops raw, and yes, they are absolutely fantastic as a quick, simple, and light appetizer.

Here’s what you need to know about buying scallops:

  • Buy dry sea scallops. What does that mean? Look for “dry” or “dry packed” sea scallops, which don’t contain any additives. This is more important when searing scallops, as the brine injected into them will prevent them from getting a golden brown crust, but in general you don’t want to buy food that’s been injected with anything. Fresh and natural is best!
  • Consider their appearance. Look for scallops that are moist but not milky.
  • They should smell sweet. Scallops are naturally very sweet. Even raw, they should not smell fishy at all. Instead, they should smell only slightly briny and a little bit like seaweed.

For the quick crudo marinade, you’ll need 1 lime, extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar (or mirin), and ginger paste.

Garnishes for serving: Bird’s eye chili (also called a Thai chili) — for some heat! — and flaky sea salt.

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Note about Thai chiles:it can be helpful to wear gloves when slicing and working with these chiles. You don’t want to accidentally rub your eye after touching one, it’ll burn. Trust us, been there, done that, lived that horrible life.

Soy marinade for scallops

How To Make Crudo At Home

  1. Dry the scallops. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.
  2. Remove the side muscle. On the side of each scallop you’ll see a little rectangular muscle. This is sometimes referred to as the “foot.” Use your thumb and index finger to lift it up and peel it away from the scallop. Discard, as this is tough to chew.
  3. Slice the scallops. Using a sharp knife, cut each scallop into 3-4 slices. The easiest way to do this is to place one hand on top of the scallop, holding it in place, while using your knife to cut horizontally through each scallop, beginning at the end closest to the cutting board.
  4. Mix the marinade. Combine lime juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice vinegar, and ½ tsp ginger paste in a small bowl, then whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. Plate the scallops. Spoon 1-2 Tbsp of the marinade on a plate. Arrange the scallops on top, overlapping them in the shape of a filled-in circle. Spoon on the remaining marinade. Add thinly sliced chilies.
  6. Garnish and serve. Sprinkle the scallops with chives and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.
Scallop crudo with Thai chiles

FAQs About Scallop Crudo

  1. Why should I use dry sea scallops? They are sweeter, slightly tanner in color, and don’t have any additives or phosphates. All natural is the way to go!
  2. Can I use bay scallops or diver scallops instead? Totally. We like to use large sea scallops or diver scallops (these are huge, hand picked scallops by divers, selected for their size!) because they are super tender, but fresh bay scallops will work. The thing is, they’re much harder to slice because they’re so small. But they are absolutely sweet (even sweeter than sea scallops) and delicious!
  3. Can I use frozen scallops? In general, we are inclusive of frozen scallops, but when you’re eating seafood raw, you really want to splurge and go for fresh. However! According to many state laws, restaurants are required to freeze fish first before serving it raw (to help kill off any unwanted, unknown bacterias), so if you’ve got frozen scallops and want to make crudo, simply thaw overnight in a refrigerator, dry on a paper towel to absorb excess water, then follow instructions.
  4. Do I have to remove the side muscle? Yes! You don’t want to eat that, it’s tough and hard to chew. It’s the little rectangular muscle on the side of the scallop. Simply grip it with your thumb and index finger, then pull it off and discard. Don’t worry if you don’t see this on every single scallop. It removes so easily that sometimes it washes off during the harvesting and cleaning process.
  5. I saw scallops that were orange at the fish counter. What’s up with that? Those are female scallops! Male scallops are that classic white hue you think of when you see scallops. Female scallops, however, are a tan or peach color. Don’t worry, they all taste the same!
Scallops marinating in soy sauce and ginger
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Variations On Scallop Crudo

  • You can make this with any high quality, fresh, raw seafood. Our favorites are: salmon, tuna, yellowtail (hamachi), fluke, black bass, striped bass, arctic char, and red snapper. (In general, stay away from larger, cold water fish for crudo recipes.)
  • Don’t want an Asian-inspired crudo? Simply marinate the scallops or other seafood with extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Simple is good!
  • Want to amp up the flavor? Try taking a fish like tuna, quickly searing or charring the exterior for a few seconds over very high heat (or use a kitchen torch!), keeping the center completely raw, then thinly slicing and serve with the marinade. Smoky and delicious!

Our recommendation is to make the crudo as written the first time, then go forth and experiment. Pretty sure you’ll be impressed both by how quickly this comes together, but also how the sweet flavor of the scallops shine through!

If you make this Scallop Crudo recipe at home, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!

And make sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for more Well Seasoned recipes! DON’T FORGET to tag us on social channels when you make a recipe at #wellseasonedstudio !! We LOVE seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!

For more light seafood recipes, check out the following:

  • Salmon escabeche
  • Grilled lobster tails and clams
  • Ahi tuna poké bowls
  • Pan seared scallops
  • Butter poached cod
  • White bean salad with tuna

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Read more: How To Make Homemade Chow Chow | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

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