Seared scallops with braised fennel & leeks.

Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel and Leeks

Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel and Leeks – seared scallops are served on a bed of fennel & leeks braised in a sake-infused sauce. Add some crusty bread to make a meal out of it!

Seared scallops with braised fennel & leeks.
Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel and Leeks

Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel and Leeks – seared scallops are served on a bed of fennel & leeks braised in a sake-infused sauce. Serve it with crusty bread for a simple, cozy meal!

Seared scallops with braised fennel & leeks.

Note: This post was originally published on January 7, 2011. The recipe has been updated from the archives.
I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Have you ever visited a restaurant or an event and encountered a dish you want to recreate in your own kitchen? Where you immediately think, How can I get my hands on the recipe? Indeed, the jackpot in this situation is where you can meet the chef, and they generously give you the recipe.

In most cases, however, we are faced with our senses conducting culinary detective work. Your tastebuds go on overdrive, trying to parcel out ingredients and seasonings. Sometimes the menu description helps. When you return to your kitchen and set upon recreating the dish, if you happen to capture the essence of the original dish, it is bliss!

I attended the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in November 2010, and one of the most memorable dishes from the Grand Dinner was the Pan Seared Scallops with Bonny Doon Vineyard Verjus Beurre Blanc. What impressed me most was the perfect preparation. Scallops can be challenging to execute as it is – preparing them perfectly for over 300 guests was commendable. The sauce was silky and refined, setting off the impeccable sear.

Seared scallops with braised fennel & leeks.

How to Make Pan Seared Scallops with Sake, Braised Fennel, and Leeks

Inspired by this dish, I went back to my kitchen. I made pan-seared scallops cooked in sake and served on a bed of braised fennel and leeks. The surprise for me was how simple it was to capture the flavors! You can easily make the sauce ahead of time. With scallops taking little time to sear, it makes for a lovely dish to prepare when entertaining, perfect as an appetizer. Or make a larger serving, grab some crusty bread, and make a meal out of it!

Ingredients for Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel and Leeks

How to Make Pan Seared Scallops with Sake, Braised Fennel, and Leeks

  1. Sauté the Fennel and Leeks

    In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the fennel and leeks, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until the fennel is transparent.Fennel and leeks in a pan.

  2. Add Sake, Chicken Broth, and Butter

    Add the sake to the pan, and allow the alcohol to cook off for about a minute.

    Stir in the chicken broth and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add in butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adding butter to braised fennel and leeks.

  3. Transfer to a serving bowl

    Transfer the fennel and leeks to a serving bowl.Braised fennel and leeks.

  4. Sear the scallops

    Wipe out your skillet with a paper towel. Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper, and sear for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Scallops in a non stick pan.

  5. Flip the scallops

    Flip the scallops and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, until the other side is also golden brown. Seared scallops in a non-stick pan.

  6. Plate and serve

    Transfer the seared scallops, placing them on the bed of fennel, leeks and sauce. Serve immediately with crusty bread for serving.Seared scallops with braised fennel & leeks.

More Scallop Recipes

Pan Seared Scallops with Warm Asparagus, Kale, and Tangerine Salad
Cilantro Pea Purée with Seared Scallops
Seared Scallops with Citrus Salsa

Seared scallops with braised fennel & leeks.

Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel and Leeks

Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel and Leeks – seared scallops are served on a bed of fennel & leeks braised in a sake-infused sauce. Add some crusty bread for a simple, comforting meal.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 175kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 fennel bulb cut in half, then sliced very thinly crosswise
  • 1 leek quartered and sliced, white part only
  • 1/8 cup sake see notes below
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 large sea scallops patted dry, see notes below
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper freshly ground

Instructions

  • In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the fennel and leeks, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until the fennel is transparent.
  • Add the sake to the pan, and allow the alcohol to cook off for about a minute.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add in butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the fennel and leeks to a serving bowl.
  • Wipe out your skillet with a paper towel. Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper, and sear for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Flip the scallops and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, until the other side is also golden brown. Transfer the seared scallops, placing them on the bed of fennel, leeks and sauce.
  • Serve immediately with crusty bread for serving.

Notes

Feel free to substitute the sake with your favorite white wine or to omit altogether if that is your preference.
When selecting scallops, opt for dry-packed sea scallops. Dry-packed sea scallops are shipped packed on ice. Avoid scallops that have been packed in a solution with phosphate (also known as wet-packed) to preserve the scallop’s shelf-life.

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

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  1. Abdul Dukich

    Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon (also known as green bacon). Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, or it may be boiled or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon is typically cooked before eating. Boiled bacon is ready to eat, as is some smoked bacon, but may be cooked further before eating.’

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  2. A Canadian Foodie

    Liren – if a dish is that memorable, one must make it! This looks stunning…. just the caramelization alone has me licking my lips. I love the presentation. Simple. Yum!

    Reply
  3. Jun Belen

    I could taste the fennel and the leeks just by looking at your photograph, Liren. I usually sear my scallops in butter and serve it with crusty bread. I’d have to try it with the fennel and leeks. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Cheryl

    Love scallops and I never cook them at home..you have inspired me !! I will try your recipe for sure!!

    Reply
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