Caramelized Scallop Salad

By Marcus Samuelsson |

When I started cooking, I was always taught that scallops should be poached or quicklycooked and served in a terrine, techniques I never thought did justice to the sweet nuttiness of this delicate shellfish. I much prefer the more modern method of searing or caramelizing scallops, which really let's their flavor come through. In this luxurious seafood salad, honey intensifies the natural sweetness of the scallops, while the ketjap manis turns it into a refreshing play on salty and sweet. A favorite of European cooks, the scallop shell is the symbol of St. James the Greater (who is also known as St. Jakob), and was carried by medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to his shrine in Spain – which is why scallops are called Jakobsmuschel in Germany, coquille St. Jacques in France, Jakobsschlep in Dutch, and pilgrimmussla in Swedish, which literally translates to "pilgrim mussel."

Prep Details

Servings: 4


1/4 head Napa cabbage, shredded (4 cups)

1 cup bean sprouts

2 scallions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

10 mint leaves, thinly sliced

10 basil leaves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

16 bay scallops


freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon ketjap manis

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges



Photo by Michael Bentley

Toss the Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, scallions, garlic, onion, jalapenos, mint, basil, and cilantro in a large bowl. Set aside.

Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and sear until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the ketjap manis and honey to the pan and turn the scallops over. Add the butter and cook for another minute, continually spooning the hot butter and oil over the scallops as they cook. Remove from heat and thinly slice each scallop.To serve, arrange 3/4 of the salad on a large platter. Arrange the scallops on top, drizzle with sauce and top with the remaining salad. Serve with lime wedges.