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Dec 1, 2011 02:23 PM

How Many Diver / Sea Scallops Per Person?


I am planning on serving pan-seared diver/sea scallops as an entree on Christmas Eve along with a potato side and a vegetable side. I will also be serving a salad, bread, and an appetizer beforehand.

How many scallops would you serve per person?


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  1. It depends on how large they are. Restaurants usually do two or three, but I find that to be a somewhat skimpy portion unless they're very large or part of a multi-course meal. I would probably go with four or five, depending on their size.

    1. Approx 6 oz per person is the generally recommended entrée size. For sea scallops that might work out to 4-6 each, which is in accordance with biondanonima's suggestion.

      2 Replies
      1. re: boredough

        6 oz is probably more appropriate than my 8 oz serving suggestion; but I'm a glutton..:) 3 u10s pp would a good serving.

        Here's a nice pic of some fresh scallops from the Boston Fish Pier...not quite U10 but awfully good.

        I rarely cook them, prefer them as a tartare or carpaccio.

        To get a good sear, and still keep them rare/mr in the interior, you need a very hot stove..or put them in the freezer for 1/2 hour just before cooking..Dry them or theyll steam and not develop that nice crust that you want. The freezer time is a trick I use if I want to sear tuna or salmon and keep them rare on the inside.

        As to variations in scallops...2-3 of the U 10's is "enough" for me. For a change in flavor, try Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard scallops...small like pencil erasers..short season which just started..don't cook..justa squeeze of lemon or soy.

        I don't know where everyone is but these guys have been around forever and do a great job at shipping.

        These are a little pricier..$30+-/lb in Boston as opposed to mid/high teens -20 for quality fresh, never frozen,sea scallops; but a nice treat...and a sweeter flavor than sea scallops..which I also love.

      2. If they are the really big ones, I would say 2 or 3 unless you know the folks are big eaters. Last time I ate them out there were three and it just seems too much of the same flavor and texture since there is not much variation within or between scallops.

        1. Without knowing the size of the scallop, it's impossible to answer. I've seen very large sea scallops where 3 would be plenty and smaller where 6 or so would be a good portion.

          When I serve seafood, I usually figure 1/2 lb per person. Most people except those with the largest appetite should be happy...especially with all the sides.

          I cooked a 1 lb swordfish steak last night and shared it with Ms 9. She's a very light eater and I had a nice piece for lunch today.

          1. Get U10s and go with 3 per person. Any more and the dish will be way too rich. I wouldn't do potatoes as a side. Scallops are beige- so are potatoes (unless you do purple potatoes). Too much beige on the plate. Also, the starch won't help with the richness of the scallops.

            What veg are you doing? Make sure whatever it is, it has some sort of acid component, or that the sauce has some sort of acid to cut the butteriness of the scallops.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jameshig

              You know I don't consider scallops rich--unless you make a butter sauce--but I do consider them dense protein--like raw fish that I can't eat very much of. Risotto with lemon zest is my favorite accompaniment to scallops and I serve it on an olive green plate. The risotto is ivory colored, the scallops golden brown and sprinkled with fresh thyme it makes for a pretty plate--I think the same could be true of the potatoes.