These Chilli Butter Scallops is a sexy recipe that I cooked on a live show some years ago. When I have clients that I’m cooking for for the first time, I like to serve them this recipe; a scallop on a shell each between courses, as an amuse-bouche. The idea behind that is to introduce them to a recipe for future reference. Regular clients and friends get these as a starter or even a warm salad.
In terms of presentation, these chilli butter scallops work best if you can get your hands on some scallop shells. I can’t always get scallops in shells but what I did find a long time ago, was a fishmonger who sold the shells (cue tongue twister?). So I got a few dozen shells off her and just wash and re use them every time. Great, isn’t it?
The marvellous thing about this recipe is that the chilli butter works with so many other things too: prawns, fish, mussels, clams and I’ve even done it with oysters. Of course the beauty with using said molluscs is you can use their shells to present them in.
I prefer to leave the roe (coral) on but feel free to take it off if you prefer. We’ll be grilling these fellas today.
- 24 scallops
- 24 scallop shells
- 100g (3.5oz) salted butter, room temperature soft
- generous pinch salt
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped or 1 tbsp any chilli paste you regularly use
- 2.5cm (1″) ginger, pounded
- 1 small garlic clove, pounded
- juice & zest of 1 lime
- small bunch fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), finely chopped
- Rinse and dry the scallops and the shells.
- Let’s make the chilli butter. In a bowl, mix together everything else, leaving about 1 heaped tbsp of coriander leaves for garnishing. You’ll need to work the lime juice in really well, it’ll be a little resistant to the butter.
- Turn the grill on to medium high, ie, three quarters of the way.
- Place the shells on a baking tray, they’ll wobble slightly but should be upright enough for you not to worry. If you are worried about the wobble, here’s a trick: sprinkle some coarse salt all over the baking tray and settle the shells in.
- Place a scallop on each shell.
- Using 2 teaspoons, top each scallop with a small dollop of the chilli butter.
- Grill the scallops for 6-8 minutes, depending on their thickness. No need to turn over.
- Serve immediately in their shells, topped with a little of the fresh coriander leaves.
- Serving Size: 6 as a starter