Zesty seared scallops and mushroom risotto

A gourmet-style mushroom risotto made with humble seasonings, a dish that is both visually appealing and bursting with flavours. Each grain of rice soaks up the umami rich mushroom-infused broth. As for the scallops, the subtle nutty notes of brown butter complement the sweetness of fresh seafood so well. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper will be sufficient to emphasize the deliciousness. Finally, a sprinkle of lemon zest elevates the dish with a refreshing citrus aroma, taking the dish to a new level of appetizing delight! 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 120g arborio rice
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1tbs white wine
  • 150g mixed mushrooms
  • ~500ml water / unsalted stock
  • 15-20g butter
  • 200g scallops
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • Lemon zest


  • Heat about 1/2 tsb oil in a pan. Add finely chopped onion and minced garlic, sauté until onion is soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add Arborio rice and cook for 1 min. Pour in white wine, reduce until almost dry.
  • Add mixed mushrooms (cremini, Chanterelle, oyster mushrooms, porcini are all great options for risotto), sauté 2-3 min.
  • Pour in water or stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until the liquid is completely absorbed before adding more broth. The process takes about 20-30 minutes (adjust broth and time according to your preference).
  • Turn off heat once risotto is cooked to your liking (some like it softer, then cook longer), add salt and pepper to taste, stir in butter. 
  • To make seared scallops: melt a small cube of butter (not included in the ingredient list) over medium heat, until it’s lightly browned. Cook scallops for 2-3 min per side (this will give you succulent half cooked scallops, which I love, you may adjust time to your preferences). I recommend simply season scallops with fleur de sel, it helps enhance the umami of seafood. 

Place seared scallops on top of risotto and, finally, garnish with freshly grated lemon zest. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish with some chopped parsley for an added touch. The lightly caramelized butter enhances the scallops with a creamy flavour and subtle nutty aroma. They are golden on the outside, while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. Thanks to the variety of mushrooms, the risotto is filled with the unique earthy aroma and deliciousness. The combination of flavours from the sea and the land complements each other perfectly, making this easy-to-make dish resemble a harmonious symphony of nature.

Chinese version here

Cooking inspirations:

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