Seared scallop and chorizo appetisers

A simple, luscious little appetiser with tons of flavour.


These are tasty little nibbles I make to have with drinks before dinner. For two people I’d make six, which is the right number mainly because it’s how many fit comfortably in my small frying pan. If there are more people, I still make them six at a time and do a few batches so everyone can enjoy them while they’re still hot. As you’ll see, you can fit them to any size crowd.

They’re impossibly, ridiculously simple to make and only take two minutes, so it’s a very easy bit of stove-top work while people gather and relax into the evening. The combination of spicy chorizo and luxurious scallop, offset with a tiny hit of coriander, provides a perfect little flavour bomb without overstepping the mark. While they belong in the canapé camp, they’re substantial enough that with a few of them you could dispense with a proper first course altogether and take this more casual approach instead.

You can arm your guests with a fork each, or abandon cutlery and go with toothpicks to skewer them (the appetisers, that is – not your guests).

If you were feeling particularly fancy, you could deglaze the pan with a tablespoon or so of dry sherry, let it reduce for a moment until it becomes syrupy, and drizzle it over. I do this sometimes if I’m in the mood, and it adds an appropriately Spanish touch to this very tapas-y dish.

Seared scallop and chorizo appetisers


Serves 2.

6 scallops
6 slices chorizo
1 teaspoon fresh coriander (cilantro)
salt and pepper

Heat a small frying pan over medium high heat.

Fry the discs of chorizo for about 20 seconds a side in the hot, dry pan, just until nicely browned and they have rendered out some if their oil. Transfer to your serving plate.

Season the scallops lightly with salt and pepper and sear in the chorizo’s oil for 30 seconds a side. Top each slice of chorizo with a scallop and a pinch of finely chopped fresh coriander. Serve immediately.