Roe-on Sea Scallops with Butter & Garlic

by Elspeth Hay

You can’t always buy shucked scallops with the roe still attached. Happily, shucking a whole, live sea scallop is much easier than shucking an oyster or a clam. Ask your fishmonger to show you how. The roe is salmon colored on females, ivory-colored on males, and is shaped like a kidney bean.


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 whole sea scallops, shucked with the roe left on and rinsed
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. About a minute before the pan gets fully up to temp, add the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly. When the pan is hot and the garlic is just starting to get fragrant, add the scallops with the roe attached. Sear for 3 minutes, flip, and sear for another 2-3 minutes on the second side. Serve warm with sea salt and pepper to taste.