Seared Scallop tostadas
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A simple herb vinaigrette made with minced cilantro, scallions, extra virgin olive oil, and lime juice is drizzled over crisp corn tortillas topped with avocado, black beans, arugula, red cabbage, cotija or feta cheese, and fried bay or sea scallops.

This exquisite small Scallops Tostada highlights local, fresh sea or bay scallops.

One of our favorite indulgences is scallops. And because restaurants almost always overcook them (even before Covid), we prefer to make them at home rather than eat them out.

We purchase and adore both bay scallops and sea scallops, but for these tostadas, we utilized the bay scallops.

What distinguishes bay scallops from sea scallops?

Seared Scallop tostadas
Food: Seared Scallop Tostadas
(Source: Jenny Shea Rawn)

Bay scallops are significantly smaller than sea scallops (usually at least 3 times the size). They taste more like the sea and are meatier, yet they are still rich, opulent, and delicate.

Bay scallops are similar to sea candy because they are smaller, sweeter, softer, and slightly more delicate than sea scallops.

Normally, they are accessible from November through February or March, but this year, the season will last until May, which is great news for those of us who enjoy bay scallops. At $40 per lb, they are expensive, but as a treat, they are well worth the money.

We have used both bay and sea scallops in this recipe. For these tostadas, you can use any scallops you like or can get your hands on.

When buying scallops, make sure to choose dry-packed scallops that have not been chemically processed; the scallops you buy shouldn’t have any additives.

Wet-packed scallops have been treated with a chemical solution that preserves them and gives them a white appearance. Because of this, they lose water when they cook, making it impossible to get a proper sear.

How are these scallops prepared?

As you probably already know, lightly searing scallops is one of our favorite ways to cook them.

I always remove them from the flame once they have a lovely sear on both sides and I notice just their center is translucent because we prefer them slightly undercooked in the center. To make these tostadas, I grilled the scallops.

These tacos were motivated by…

These tostadas were inspired by a lunch I had at Anejo, a little Mexican restaurant on the Cape, around six years ago.

I had a fantastic scallop tostada at the time that was topped with bacon, guacamole, salsa, cotija cheese, and other ingredients.

The fried sea scallops were just delicious. This tostada is a variation on Anejo’s, but it’s a healthier version (there’s nothing fried here) with a ton of vibrantly fresh toppings.

How can I prepare these tostadas with scallops?

Olive oil will be used to brush the tortillas before baking them till crisp and golden. You’ll prepare a quick cilantro-scallion vinaigrette in the interim.

The scallops are then pan-seared. Layer black beans, arugula, red cabbage, avocado, cotija (a firm-textured fresh white cheese that is somewhat salty, mild, and sour), onions, cilantro, and seared scallops on top of the corn tortillas to make the tostadas.

Serve with lime wedges after being drizzled with the herb vinaigrette. Very excellent!

Tostada with Seared Scallops

ENTIRE TIME: 25 Minutes

COURSE: Main Dish

CUISINE: American

SERVINGS: 4 people

Energy: 543 kcal


For the corn tortillas

  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • For the cilantro scallion vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup cilantro divided (you’ll use half in assembly below)
  • 4 scallions divided (you’ll use half in assembly below)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the scallops

  • 1 teaspoon sunflower oil or other high-heat oil
  • 1 teaspoon salted butter
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb sea or bay scallops side muscle removed
  • freshly ground black pepper

For assembly

  • 1 avocado sliced or cut into chunk
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 15.5 ounces can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 ounces cotija or feta cheese crumbled
  • cilantro, roughly chopped reserved from above
  • scallions, thinly sliced reserved from above

For serving

  • 1 lime cut into wedges


Seared Scallop tostadas
Food: Seared Scallop Tostadas
(Source: Jenny Shea Rawn)
  1. turn the oven on to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the tortillas on the baking pan. Olive oil should be lightly brushed across both sides. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until crispy and gently browned, on each side.
  3. Finely chop 2 scallions and 1/4 cup cilantro to make the vinaigrette. Add to a small bowl along with salt, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil.
  4. A saute pan is warmed over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil. In a heated pan, swirl the fat. Put scallops in. Cook until a beautiful crust forms on one side only. The center should remain translucent after flipping, but the top and bottom should be opaque and have a lovely crust. Depending on the size, type, and preference of the scallop, the cooking time will change.
  5. Lay the corn tortillas flat before adding the avocado (which you may smash if you like), arugula, red cabbage, black beans, queso fresco or feta, scallops, cilantro, and scallions to the tostadas. Add a vinaigrette drizzle.
  6. Serve lime wedges with the tostadas.

Time-saving advice:

  1. Employ pre-shredded red cabbage.
  2. To serve tacos rather than tostadas, warm the corn tortillas on the stovetop rather than baking them.
  3. Leave out the vinaigrette and top with simply the cut scallions and cilantro.


Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 797mg | Potassium: 743mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 921IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 2mg