Recipe: Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel Purée | Chris Kresser

Recipe: Pan Seared Scallops with Fennel Purée


Published on

seared scallops fennel puree recipe
This seared scallops and fennel puree recipe is yummy and easy to make.

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Searing not only keeps the scallops juicy, it also gives them a crisp texture.

Type of dish: Dinner
Servings: 2
Equipment: Medium sized pot with lid, Skillet


For the fennel purée:

  • 3 medium sized fennel bulbs, core removed and thinly sliced (save fennel sprigs for garnish)
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste

For the Scallops:

  • ¾ lb large scallops (6 to 8 depending on size)
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp paprika powder
  • 1 TB coconut oil
  • 4 lemon wedges


  1. Place sliced fennel, shallot, bay leaf, salt and pepper in a pot with enough water to cover.
  2. Cook at a simmer for about 20 minutes until very tender.
  3. Drain well, remove bay leaf, return to pot, and purée with an immersion blender until smooth.
  4. With lid on, keep warm on a very low heat.
  5. Pat scallops dry with paper towels, and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  6. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat, add scallops and fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
  7. Transfer to 2 plates, accompany with lemon wedges.
  8. Arrange fennel purée along side and garnish with fennel sprigs.


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  1. This look wonderful!

    Do you suggest using virgin coconut oil with its coconut flavor, or expeller pressed which is more neutral in flavor?

    • Use refined CO (not virgin); it will take higher heat, esp if using cast iron. (Even my All Clad SS gets smoking hot on med). For salad dressings, marinades and high heat cooking, I use Nature’s Way liquid coconut oil; it’s refined (safer), and isn’t strong flavored. Whole Foods, Amazon, etc all carry it. Use virgin for low-med heat apps.

      I make seared scallops once a week and the mistake I’ve made all along is not high enough heat. Last night I cranked it up and they were the best ever — no sticking to the pan, perfectly done. I used ghee which also takes high heat.

      The fennel puree looks awesome. Sadly, I just went on FODMAPs, so fennel is out for me for now 🙁 But this would be great subbing parsnips, or delicate squash, and those are OK!

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