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Kaffir Lime Scallops with Browned Butter

Posted by on April 30, 2012

This recipe was based on one I found by Jean-George Vongerichten from Food and Wine magazine. I’ve had a container of kaffir lime leaves in the fridge, and there’s only so much Thai curry I can make. Then I found this recipe where he slits the leaf and slides a scallop in the slit. I’m not sure if he had really large leaves or really small scallops, but I couldn’t even come close to making it work. No worries, a couple toothpicks through the leaves and all is well.

These are possibly the most tasty scallops I’ve made to date, but part of the accolades should go to the fish guy at the greenmarket because he has the sweetest scallops. The kaffir lime leaves give it a beautiful light citrus flavor, but you could probably substitute other leaves if you can’t find the kaffir. Just make sure not to overcook them! You can even eat them a little undercooked and they should be soft and succulent.

Kaffir Lime Scallops with Browned Butter

1/2 pound scallops

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-3 kaffir lime leaves per scallop

1 teaspoon aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon chives, minced


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. 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, they’re not really edible.

5 Responses to Kaffir Lime Scallops with Browned Butter

  1. mzrubyd

    I cook scallops often and this looks great. On my quest to find those kaffir lime leaves. I have several recipes that call for them. Hopefully I’ll find them at the Asian market.

  2. kitchenriffs

    I love scallops! And they’re my wife’s favorite food, so I can never have too many recipes for them. Kaffir lime leaves aren’t the easiest to find, but most Asian markets have them. I’ll have to give this a try – thanks for the idea. Oh, and I’m glad you visited my blog so I could find yours.

  3. wendy@chezchloe

    These look delish!
    How about infusing some cream for brulee or custard.

  4. foodfamilyandvino

    I love that you used your extra Kaffir leaves! This looks so beautiful…I will be making this…nice one!

  5. Dave

    Beautiful! I love the chive flowers.