These pan seared scallops and black pudding make an easy and elegant starter for a special occasion.
The black pudding is nestled on a bed of pea purée and topped with the scallop.
This means that you get the crisp black pudding, perfectly seared scallops and a creamy and minty purée in each bite.
With minimal preparation and less than 10 minutes cooking time, there's no reason not to try it.
I have always been a big fan of scallops. There's something about the scallop meat that is delicate and refreshing and it goes so well with strong flavours such as black pudding.
They make an easy starter, as they cook in minutes and have very little preparation.
The delicious pea purée can be made in advance, although it doesn't take long to make, and then you have a starter that comes together in minutes.
Perfect for an elegant dinner party, date night or Christmas eve.
And, if you don't love black pudding or peas, there are plenty of other alternatives too.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Great entertaining idea.
- Quick to prepare and cook.
- Vary the ingredients easily.
- Delicious flavour and textures.
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- Scallops - fresh or frozen cleaned sea scallops removed from the shell, ideally of a similar size. These are typically about 2 - 3 centimetres across or an inch. It's cheaper to buy scallops out of the shell. Although I do like the orange coral, I have removed this for cooking as it can become overcooked and chewy when searing the scallops.
- Black pudding - preferably large slices of black pudding, about 5 centimetres or 2 inches across. rather than the smaller, sausage sized puddings. As they are presliced they are easy to cook and keep their shape and the scallops easily rest on top.
- Peas - frozen peas are best for this recipe.
- Mint - a sprig of mint cooked with the peas adds extra sweetness and freshness.
- Crème fraîche - full fat or reduced fat. This adds creaminess without the purée becoming heavy.
- Butter - salted or unsalted for flavour when the scallops are seared. If you are using salted butter, season sparingly.
- Oil - vegetable or plain olive oil, as the scallops need to be cooked over a high heat to sear without burning.
- Salt - cooking or kosher salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- blender or stick blender (or use a sieve)
- frying pan or skillet
- kitchen paper or clean tea towel
Put the scallops on 2 pieces of kitchen towel and cover with 2 more pieces, to soak up the excess moisture.
If you don't have kitchen paper use a clean tea towel.
💭 Top Tip
- Whether the scallops are fresh, or frozen and defrosted, they have a tendency to hold a lot of water. This water will spit when they cook and cause the scallops to steam, rather than develop a nice golden crust.
Heat a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the peas.
Bring the water back up to a boil and simmer the peas for 2 minutes.
Drain and transfer to a blender with the crème fraiche and mint.
Blend until smooth and season to taste.
Return the purée to the saucepan and cover to keep it warm.
Put the oil in the frying pan over a medium heat.
Add the black pudding slices and cook for about 1 minute each side.
They should be darkened and slightly crispy on the surface.
Remove from the pan and keep warm.
Next, add the butter to the pan over a medium to high heat.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Season the scallops on both sides with the salt and pepper just before cooking.
💭 Top Tip
There's a lot to be said about the timing for seasoning fish before it is cooked.
- If it is salted an hour before cooking the moisture is drawn out by the salt, but is then reabsorbed, so the meat stays moist while it is cooking.
- If the fish is salted 15 minutes before cooking, for example, because you are preparing something at the same time, then the moisture escapes from the meat and it will be dry when cooked.
- To avoid doubt, generously salt the fish just before it goes in the pan, under the grill, (broiler), or on the grill.
Add the scallops and cook for 1 - 2 minutes, until they are golden.
Turn the scallops over and cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes.
The scallops are cooked when the sides are no longer translucent but opaque and the top and bottom are seared until golden.
Divide the pea purée between 2 serving dishes.
Top with a slice or warm black pudding and then add the scallops.
Dig in and enjoy.
🥗 Serve with
After serving a seafood starter it is best to serve a meat or poutly main course.
- Spider Steak with Tarragon Butter
- Roast Lamb Shanks in Foil
- Roast Pigeon
- Spatchcock Duck
- Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder
- Simple Roast Gammon
- Roast Rib of Beef
- Jacob's Ladder Beef
- Pheasant and Venison Casserole
- Pheasant Breast with Wild Mushroom Sauce
- Roast Venison Haunch
- Roast Partridge
- Cannon of Lamb
- Scallops - if you don't like scallops with pea purée, use large prawns or shrimps but they will only need cooking briefly until they turn opaque. Overcooked prawns can be tough.
- Chorizo - swap the black pudding for fried thick slices of chorizo or other spicy sausage.
- Purée - instead of using peas use a celeriac or cauliflower purée.
- Garnish - sprinkle over some extra virgin olive oil, chopped basil or crumble some crisply cooked bacon.
- Garlic - add finely chopped garlic to the pan when the scallops have been turned over.
- Scallops with pea purée - leave out the black pudding or meat element entirely if you wish.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Freezer - freeze the purée and scallops and black pudding separately for up to 1 month.
- To reheat - reheat the purée in a saucepan over a low heat and the scallops in a frying pan.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Prepare the pea purée in advance then cool, cover and leave in the fridge until required.
More seafood starters
- Crab Salad
- Cod Cheeks
- Prawn Canapés
- Smoked Salmon Canapés
- Salmon Gravlax
- Smoked Salmon Pâté
- Smoked Salmon Tartines
- Smoked Salmon and Avocado Mousse
- Salmon Timbales
- Seafood Bisque
Pan Seared Scallops and Black Pudding
- blender or stick blender (or use a sieve)
- Frying pan or skillet
- kitchen paper or clean tea towel
- 6 scallops cleaned
- 2 slices black pudding
- 150 g peas
- 1 sprig mint
- 2 tablespoon crème fraiche
- ½ teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Put the scallops on 2 pieces of kitchen towel and cover with 2 more pieces, to soak up the excess moisture.
- Heat a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the peas.
- Bring the water back up to a boil and simmer the peas for 2 minutes.
- Drain and transfer to a blender with the crème fraiche and mint.
- Blend until smooth and season to taste.
- Return the purée to the saucepan and cover to keep it warm.
- Put the oil in the frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add the black pudding slices and cook for about 1 minute each side.
- Remove from the pan and keep warm.
- Next, add the butter to the pan over a medium to high heat.
- Season the scallops on both sides.
- Add the scallops and cook for 1 - 2 minutes, until they are golden. Turn the scallops over and cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes.
- Divide the pea purée between 2 serving dishes.
- Top with a slice or warm black pudding and then add the scallops.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More seafood recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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Wow, what a beautiful and elegant meal!
I am not all that familiar with black pudding, but those scallops are perfection! 🙂 Looks delicious.
Love the combination of ingredients here. Very interesting and new to me. Thanks for sharing.
This looks so fancy and so good! I love scallops, and I always love trying new things. I've never had black pudding before, so I'm very eager to give this one a try.
The presentation of your pudding is so beautiful! I wish I could taste it right now. Saving this for the future.
I ever would have thought to put scallops and black pudding together, but my husband would love this.
Everyone at my house really loved it! Thanks for the recipe!
This is unique to me and very intriguing to try and now I am off to find black pudding online this is a must try!
Thanks for the tip for making the puree in advance. I did and it certainly was worth the extra effort. Will be making this again!