Limed queen scallops flambéed in tequila

For those times when you've got your mates round before you go out for a night on the tiles, serve these with flour tortillas, salsa, soured cream and guacamole. If you require a more formal affair, then serve with lemon rice and a simple rocket salad.


Prep time
Less then 30 minutes
Cooking time
10 to 30 minutes


  • generous glug olive oil
  • generous knob butter
  • 4 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juice and zest only
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 dozen queen scallops, trimmed and ready to cook
  • generous glug good-quality tequila (you can drink the rest of the bottle over dinner!)
  • 1 handful chives finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat gently - do not allow to brown.

  2. Add the lime juice and zest and cook for a minute or two.

  3. Add the sugar and stir continuously - it's important to keep the ingredients moving around the pan at this point to prevent the sugar from burning.

  4. Increase the heat to high then add the scallops. Fry for another minute.

  5. Add a big glug of tequila and the chopped chives and flambe - if cooking on gas carefully let the flame just catch the pan or if using an electric hob you might need to use a match to ignite the tequila (CAUTION: Take care when flambeing the scallops and keep your face well away from the pan. If you're not an experienced cook you must be aware that this method of cooking can create large flames). If the tequila doesn't light quickly then don't be tempted to keep the pan on the heat any longer as this will overcook the scallops.

  6. Serve the scallops hot from the pan and in warm tortilla wraps or with lemon butter rice.