The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry

Seared Scallops with Coconut, Mango & Kiwi



My husband and I once traveled to a remote coastal town in Maine in search of the perfect seared scallops. Unfortunately for us, the chef was having an off night, and so the pinnacle of our scallop-tasting experiences eluded us.

But now, it just might be here, in these butter-seared scallops with a trifecta of sauces: coconut cream infused with lemongrass and ginger, a puree of mango and lime juice, and a kiwi puree. And just in time for Valentine’s Day! I hope you make this and enjoy it with your favorite one(s).


Seared Scallops with Coconut, Mango & Kiwi

Makes 2 entrées or 4 small dishes/appetizers.

  • 8 medium scallops, washed in cold water and patted thoroughly dry
  • 1/4 cup creamy & thick coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1/2 lemongrass stalk, pounded to release its oils and chopped in 2
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 1/2 mango, peel removed & coarsely chopped
  • spritz of lime juice
  • 2 kiwis, peel removed & coarsely chopped
  • pat of butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • chives to garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the creamy coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger and bring to a boil, then turn down heat to let simmer. Simmer softly for 10-15 minutes or until nicely thickened; watch to ensure it doesn’t burn. Taste and add salt and white pepper, a bit at a time, to taste. Pour through a strainer into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the purees: blend mango and a bit of  lime juice until just combined; pour in a separate bowl and set aside. Wash out the blender container & then blend the kiwi; set aside in another bowl.
  3. Make sure the scallops are thoroughly dry (and when you give them a light squeeze, they don’t release any water). Pat dry again with a paper towel if in doubt. In a nonstick skillet, heat a teaspoon or so of unsalted butter on medium-high heat. When pan is very hot, add the scallops, spread out, 4 at a time. Lightly salt & pepper the top side only. After a couple minutes, when the scallops start to brown & form a golden ring around the edge, lift each one gently and sprinkle just a tiny pinch of brown sugar underneath – this will help them brown up even more all over. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, then flip and cook that side until done. Scallops should be just opaque but cooked through. Set aside and do the second batch of scallops.
  4. To plate, spoon out the kiwi puree in an arc on the outer edge of the plate, then another arc of the mango puree inside it. Plate 4 scallops each, then drizzle with the coconut milk and garnish with chives.


Notes: Try to get dry-packed scallops (or fresh!), as the chemicals used in the wet-packing process make it nearly impossible to get a good sear on the scallops. A very hot skillet, a small bit of butter, and the pinch of brown sugar will help them brown nicely regardless.

If you can’t find creamy & thick coconut milk, you may have to boil your coconut milk and reduce it for a longer time.



Author: Laura Haugen

Writer, Traveler, Foodie

13 thoughts on “Seared Scallops with Coconut, Mango & Kiwi

  1. This sounds divine. How did you figure out the brown sugar-searing trick? I’m not sure I trust myself to do this correctly but without trying I’ll never know, right?

    • The brown sugar trick was mentioned in the scallops section of “The Food Bible” – so I had to try it! You can’t even taste it but it gives it a better sear than I’ve been able to accomplish before this 🙂 Try it! I hope you love it.

  2. I don’t eat scallops but your recipe makes me want to try them x

  3. This is absolutely gorgeous, the scallops have a perfect sear and the plating could easily be from a 5 star restaiurant. I love the mango and kiwi. This is a fantastic recipe.

    • Oh, you make me blush! Seriously, you made my day/week/month. So sweet of you. I was dreaming up this combo for a while and couldn’t wait to try, and I loved it (so did hubby!). I’ve never done fancy plating before but had fun with it!

  4. I love coastal Maine. These scallops do look divine – and who can say no to rich and creamy coconut milk?! This dish epitomizes the (well) seasoned traveler. Lovely! Best, Shanna

  5. Wow, I echo Suzanne… this is a dish one would order in a high class restaurant. Brilliant trifecta of sauces (to quote you). Balance for the palate, seafood with fruity sauce. Absolutely marvelous!

  6. How very pretty and tasty looking!

  7. Scallops are one of my all time favourite foods! Your look divine

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