Steamed Spicy Scallops

A peppery wine sauce finished with butter coats these tender scallops that are steamed to perfection.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and serrano pepper; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add wine, reduce heat to low, and simmer while cooking scallops.

  2. Meanwhile, place water in the bottom of a steamer and bring to a boil over high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and cayenne pepper and place in steamer top. Place over boiling water, cover, and steam scallops for 2 minutes. Gently stir scallops, cover again, and steam for 2 to 5 minutes, until scallops are opaque.

  3. Remove serrano pepper sauce from heat and swirl in butter until melted. Place scallops on serving plate and top with sauce. Serve immediately.


There are three kinds of scallops available. Sea scallops are the largest, about 30 to the pound, and are white, sometimes with an orange tint. Bay scallops are smaller, about 50 to the pound, are sweet and white with a hint of pink. And calico scallops, the smallest of all, are darker in color and not as tender.

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