Poached fresh scallops served on the shell with a little sauteed spring onion, garlic and freshly ground black pepper covered with a wine and fish stock reduction.
I invented this one in response to a clients request for something "a bit different" as a seafood entree for his daughters wedding reception.


  • 16 scallops on the half shell

  • 8 spring onions, finely sliced

  • 3 fat cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 50 gms. unsalted butter

  • .5 cup finely chopped sweet basil

  • 500gms. fish bones and head

  • 6 black peppercorns

  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered

  • 3 good sprigs fresh dill

  • 700 ml. cold water

  • .5 white wine glass of a good dry white wine

  • .5 tsp sea salt

  • .5 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • Rock salt to serve

  • Colourful salad vegetables of your choice


  • 1.

    Remove the scallops from shells, rinse under cold water and set aside

  • 2.

    Thoroughly clean shells, scrubbing if necessary, and set aside

  • 3.

    In a heavy based saucepan place fish bones and head,peppercorns, celery, carrot, onion, dill, cold water and dry white wine.

  • 4.

    Season with the sea salt and ground black pepper

  • 5.

    Bring to boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes

  • 6.

    Strain the stock through a muslin cloth into a stainless steel bowl

  • 7.

    Allow to sit for 30 minutes for any residue to settle

  • 8.

    Strain again through clean muslin, gently pouring, leaving any residue in bottom of first bowl

  • 9.

    Discard residue

  • 10.

    Place stock in clean pan, bring to boil, reduce to gentle simmer

  • 11.

    Allow stock to reduce to .5 of its' original volume

  • 12.

    2 minutes before stock has sufficiently reduced add .25 cup of the sweet basil

  • 13.

    Taste for seasoning

  • 14.

    Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a heavy based pan until just foaming

  • 15.

    Add spring onions, garlic,remainder of sweet basil and .25 tsp. ground black pepper and cook until onion just retains some crispness

  • 16.

    Drain off butter and keep warm

  • 17.

    Place scallop shells in oven at 80C to warm for serving

  • 18.

    Place a small, flat bed of rock salt on plates and surround with colourful salad

  • 19.


  • 20.

    Poach scallops for two minutes each side in fish broth

  • 21.

    To serve place scallop shells on rock salt so that they are level

  • 22.

    Place a scallop in each shell and top with a little of the onion/garlic mixture

  • 23.

    Fill each shell with fish broth, garnish with dill sprigs and serve

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 307kj
  • Fat Total 13g
  • Saturated Fat 4g
  • Protein 36g
  • Carbohydrate 7g
  • Sugar 2g
  • Sodium 821mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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There are many variations that I have used for this dish e.g. chilli in the onion mix, different herbs for the stock or onion mix, adding a prawn in with the scallop, half stock topped with mornay - really anything your imagination can come up with!
I suggest two scallops for an appetiser and four for an entree.
The stock can be prepared the day before and is, I feel, better tasting for it.
If you are considering serving cooked vegetables wit it just remember that scallops have a very delicate flavour and should not be served with strong tasting vegies

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