Friday, January 4, 2013

Scallop Cakes

You've heard of Crab Cakes I'm sure, but did you ever try a Scallop Cake?  They're seriously good.  And different and unique and fun to make as well.
Scallop Cakes

I made a Prime Rib for Christmas Eve and invited a few friends in, but one of our friends is a Pescatarian, fancy word for a vegetarian who eats seafood.   Most of us are pretty much omnivourous, if not downright Carnivorous, but I really couldn't feed Robin meat, she wouldn't have eaten it anyway.  So I decided to make her a Crab Cake, which I happen to know she likes.  But couldn't find any nice fresh crab meat, and I was running out of time, so I picked up a package of frozen Scallops and proceeded to make her some Scallop Cakes.   The recipe I used made four good sized cakes, and Robin did get to eat one of them, but the others, well, let me just say, that all the Carnivores, or at least some of them,  proceeded to taste a bit of the other Scallop cakes as well.  And everyone pronounced them quite good.  

So that means I get to share the how to's here, as well as what I learned you should not do when making something like this.

To begin with the recipe called for two pounds of Scallops, frozen being fine, however I just used a one pound package.   Well, I only 'had' to make enough for one person, so decided to cut down the recipe.   And it did work, but I learned that I should have let the scallops defrost a little longer, I chopped them while they were still a little on frozen side, and that was a mistake.   They release a lot of liquid.  Yup, and that meant I had to add some bread crumbs to keep them from being too loose.  Which they still were, but not as bad.   But the flavour, it was right on.  Yummy in other words.  I did cook up a teeny one for myself to check beforehand and make sure that it would be edible, and I really liked it.

I got the original recipe from here, but then did my own riff on it, cause I could.  And I discovered  that something had been eating my chive plant over the week or so, so I had to substitute some finely minced green onion for the chives.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2  cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound sea scallops  (pat them dry)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives  1/4 cup minced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger, I used my Microplane on the frozen ginger I keep in the freezer.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs (optional, but use if needed)
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs for coating. 
  • 2 tablespoons Peanut Oil for frying

Scallop Cakes before being fried
Heat olive oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Cool. Place scallops in processor. Using on/off turns, coarsely chop scallops. Transfer scallops to large bowl. Stir in onion, chopped chives, parsley, flour, ginger, lime juice, egg, (1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs,if needed),  lime peel, and pepper. Form scallop mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties, each about 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter. I used a cookie cutter ring to make the patties more uniform.  Just spooned the Scallop cake mixture into them.  Made them very nice and uniform.   Sprinkle 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs on a plate and put the scallop cakes on that.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs.   Place scallop cakes on baking sheet. Cover and chill 1 hour. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add scallop cakes to skillet and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer cakes to baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until cooked through, about 7 minutes.
 Or do as I did, turn the heat down, place a cover on the fry pan, and let cook for about 5 minutes.   Serve with an herbed mayonnaise.   I used some chopped parsley, tarragon, chives to flavour the mayonnaise and then perked it up with some lime juice.   And that was lovely as well.  Nothing like tooting your own horn, is there? 


Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. Sid, great idea - like fish cakes but better. Thanks for linking it in. Cheers

  2. You are so talented and patient!! I'm sharing some of your treats tomorrow on my blog. Thanks so much for linking up to my Red, White, Blue & You Link Party! I always love everything you make!

  3. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. this sounds absolutley delicious, great for leftovers probably! thanks for giving the different twists so I can try a different one each time! :)
    Holly Hooper

  5. For the chicken part of the recipe. It says canned roasted tomatoes but under instructions it says sundried tomatoes. Which is correct, canned roasted or sundried (not talking about the noodle part, I know that’s sundried)?
    Paul Brown

    1. Not sure which recipe you're referencing, there's neither chicken or tomatoes in any form in this recipe.

  6. I love scallop cakes but have one problem when making them - keeping them together. They always fall apart on me - especially when I go to turn them over and fry the other side. Thoughts?

    1. I use egg and flour as the binders, depending on the amount of scallops you're using, you might want to add more eggs and flour. Also, if using frozen scallops, make sure you thaw and drain them well before using. Never hurts to play with a recipe a little.


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