Kaffir Lime Scallops with Browned Butter

September 19, 2012

Author Notes: This recipe was based on one by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, but I adjusted based on what I had in my kitchen. In his picture, he had the kaffir lime leaves completely enveloping the scallops, but I was just not able to make mine work the same way. It didn't matter. These were the tastiest scallops I've made to date, and brown butter sauce makes everything better. Try them the next time you can get your hands on some kaffir lime leaves and you won't be disappointed.Meatballs&Milkshakes

Food52 Review: Sometimes the simplest of recipes are surprisingly complex in flavor, and such is the case in this dish. It’s done in minutes, but doesn’t taste like it. The Kaffir lime leaves infuse a complex flavor without overpowering or masking the scallops’ natural sweetness, and sautéing with browned butter and chives adds a nutty flavor with just a hint of onion from the chives. I will definitely be serving this again. It makes an outstanding entrée, but would be a perfect one-bite hors d’oeuvres! sdebrango

Serves: 4


  • 1/2 pound sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves per scallop
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (can sub cayenne or other chili pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon chives, minced
  • toothpicks
In This Recipe


  1. Dry scallops well with paper towels. Skewer the kaffir lime leaves around the sides of the scallops, making sure the flat sides are still exposed so you can get a nice brown on them. Sprinkle with the aleppo or cayenne and some salt to taste.
  2. Warm the butter and oil in a frying pan until the butter starts to brown (but be careful not to let it burn). Gently place the scallops in the pan and allow to brown fully on one side before turning (about 2 minutes). Flip them gently once browned, and add the chives to the butter. Cook for another minute and then they’re done! Remove leaves at the table before eating.

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Butter|Chive|Lime|Scallop|Seafood|Make Ahead|Appetizer|Hors D'Oeuvre