Seared scallops with leeks & lemon chilli butter

Seared scallops with leeks & lemon chilli butter

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 10 mins


Serves 4
Scallops love a bit of lemon and chilli plus, they are ready in a flash. The perfect way to impress last-minute guests

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal588
  • fat56g
  • saturates33g
  • carbs3g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre2g
  • protein19g
  • salt1.47g
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  • 4 young, but not baby leeks leek, trimmed



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 12 scallop, roes on or off


    Skol-ips, Skal-ips

    This is the bi-valve shellfish with a flat, fanned bottom shell and domed fan shaped upper shell…

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • lemon wedges, to serve



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

For the butter

  • 250g pack butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • zest 2 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • bunch parsley, leaves chopped, plus extra to serve



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. For the butter, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then beat well with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps of butter left. Spoon onto a large sheet of cling film, then wrap tightly in a sausage shape. Chill until firm (or put in the freezer if you’re short of time).

  2. Set up a pan with a steamer or suspend a heatproof colander over the top of a pan. Cut the leeks in half lengthways, then slice into long strips, about the thickness of tagliatelle. Cover, then steam for 6 mins until tender, with no signs of squeakiness. Season, then set aside.

  3. Dry the scallops on kitchen paper and season. Heat a heavy-based pan, then add the oil. Once hot, add the scallops, keeping them close together – this helps the sides to stay straight and tall rather than sagging. Sizzle for 2 mins until caramelised and you can see the heat creeping up the outside. Turn over with a palette knife, then fry for 1 min more. Take off the heat, then add a few good slices of the butter to the pan, spooning over the scallops as it melts.

  4. To serve, wind a nest of warm leeks in the centre of 4 plates, top each with 3 scallops, spoon over the buttery sauce (it looks smart trickled around the plate), then sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Squeeze over a little lemon juice before you tuck in.

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Comments (16)

augella's picture

Try adding a 1/4 tsp of 5 spice to the butter and it is even yummier!

stunningandgorgeousforever's picture

As a very proud (and absolutely wonderful!) mother of five, I can testify that this recipe is like a gift from heaven, and beyond! I make this for my children's entrée every Thursday evening, and every time, without fail, it turns out perfectly, and of course goes without saying that every last bit is gobbled up!!! A 'must do' for all enthusiasts and beginners alike. Spoil yourself! Go on! x

notthebestchef's picture

After reading all the comments here I decided to adapt this to a main meal.

I used the zest and a bit of juice of only one lemon, one leek and one head of pak choi. Also added some king prawns. Served it on top of a pile of Tagliatelle. It was soooo delicious.

Not sure about the rolling, chilling and freezing the butter. We just mixed all the ingredients together and put it straight into the pan. Also only used half the amount of butter stated.

polgrice's picture

The day is new years eve and year 2011. My partner has just served this dish as a starter and I must say that it was fantastic. All of my favourite foods served together with beautiful flavours. The left over butter will be used tomorrow to accompany tiger prawns - cant wait. Happy 2012 everyone, have a good year.

sukieduke's picture

I made this last night! Absolutely delicious! Very quick to prepare and cook. I skipped the leeks and used a bed of rocket instead and it worked fine. The butter sauce was divine but even after halving the quantities, thanks to other reviewers, I had loads left over!

Gayle777's picture

Gorgeous recipe!! Made all the butter, used a quarter and froze the rest for next time as I will definitely make this again.

domestikate84's picture

I agree, lovely recipe but far too much butter! Easy enough to save some and use it for something else though, and it was delicious. We fried up some mushrooms as well and mixed it all through some tagliatelle to make a nice substantial main. Will definitely be making it again!

lavens's picture

Lovely! Agree there was far too much butter but agree that you can either add more seafood like prawns or keep them for some beans or spinich! Everyone was very impressed.

meg_86's picture

made this to start on valentines day, my fiance said its the nicest scallop dish he has ever tried... i added a few of tiger prawns also. will definatly make again - delicious!

ptw1953's picture

I've just made this meal for my woman and I. Followed the recipe, with no deviation. Absolutely excellent. Well done for posting this Jane. An absolute treat indeed. We vow to use this recipe once a month, at the very least...

jane5238's picture

loved this one and mindful of other comments I cut down the quantity of butter and chilli and it worked perfectly. Will definately keep this one to do again.

sascha's picture

Great and easy starter. There was an unbelievable amount of butter left over, which I've now frozen and will eat later this week on a piece of steamed fish, probably cod with french beans.

eleanormayo's picture

I used about a quarter of a pack of butter and half the quantities of chilli, lemon etc & still had some left over. Excellent starter though.

manly49's picture

My husband was ecstatic when I served this dish. It was fab, and so easy to do. I added some wilted pak choy with the leek, which was nice . We have loads of butter left, but it'll come in handy in the future. I think next time I might do as Steve did and add some tiger prawns. Sounds good.

steve147's picture

I agree with you Katy, more than enough butter, and I did'nt need the zest of two lemons, saying that though I did think this was a very tasty way to serve Scallops I also added a few Tiger prawns

katyrouth's picture

I used the same quantities listed here as a main course for two, which was just about right. I made half the amount of butter, though, and still had some left over!

A lovely simple recipe with great impact and taste.

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