Stir-Fried Bay Scallops With Pistachios 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

May 9, 2012

Stir-frying tiny bay scallops for just a minute or so keeps them tender and succulent.

Serve alone as a first course, or over angel-hair pasta, with crusty bread on the side, as a main course.

Servings: 4 - 6
  • 1 pound bay scallops, preferably dry pack
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup clam juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup light cream
  • 1 teaspoon kirschwasser
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper


Place a colander into or over a bowl and place it next to the stove. Use paper towels to pat the scallops dry.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it turns light brown (do not let it turn dark or burn). Add the scallops and stir-fry just until they become translucent in the center, 1 to 2 minutes; do not overcook or they will become tough. Season lightly with salt. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the scallops to the colander.

Add the clam juice and wine to the skillet. Add any juices that have dripped into the bowl below the colander. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 5 or 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, with the liquid just barely bubbling, for 1 minute.

Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and cream in a small bowl and stir to remove any lumps. Add to the skillet and cook until the mixture has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the kirschwasser.

To serve, transfer the scallops to a serving dish, pour the sauce over them and sprinkle with the pistachios and cracked pepper; or spoon over individual portions of angel-hair pasta and sprinkle with the pistachios and pepper.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Madeleine Cooks," by Madeleine Kamman (William Morrow, 1986).

Tested by Dean Felten.

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