Seared Scallops (or King Oyster Mushrooms) with White Bean and Shiitake Succotash

I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am rich, because I made this DISH. That’s the new song I am singing in my head because there’s something about serving perfectly seared scallops on a bed of colorful, delicious succotash that makes me feel all  of these things. 1) It’s pretty healthy! Scallops are a lean protein (of course, we are searing them with fat but that doesn’t mean they are now unhealthy) and succotash is a very light side to pair them with. 2 ) At a restaurant, it would be expensive! So therefore we are wealthy and rich because we are eating like rich people and also saving money by making it at home.

Ok! Now that I’m done my explanation of why this dish helps me embody this song (which is completely not what you came here for lol) let’s go through the usual hypothetical Q&A before we get started with the recipe.

First of all, seared scallops! Coming from someone who has ruined SO SO MANY family dinners in the past by messing up seared scallops, please trust that my fails have taught me the ultimate foolproof way to sear them. I don’t want you to have the problems of scallops sticking to your pan and leaving all that golden brown caramelization on the pan instead of your scallops. I also don’t want you to deal with overcooking OR under cooking them. Scallops are so easy to make once you understand the right method! I promise if you follow my steps in this video below, you will get it perfect.

VEG SUBSTITUTES! I’m vegetarian or vegan…what do you recommend pairing this with if I obv don’t eat fish or meat?

I’m so glad that you (hypothetically) asked!! That’s why I categorized this as vegan/vegetarian. My first choice as a substitute would be seared king oyster mushrooms are extremely popular amongst vegans and vegetarians. I sadly couldn’t find them, but if you can, definitely serve those on top of the succotash. If you can’t find that, tofu that has been marinated in a tangy mixture, then breaded and pan fried would be great on top of this! Or, you could even just pop a veggie burger on here for a fun spin on a burger salad. OR, you can just mix the succotash in with some arugula and lemon vinaigrette for a delicious salad! That’s what I did for the photos here.

seared scallops with white bean succatosh

What is succotash? 

According to wiki, succatosh is, “a culinary dish consisting primarily of sweet corn with lima beans or other shell beans.” It’s also extremely popular in the south. Maybe you weren’t asking yourself what succotash is, but I wanted to put this in here because my version is technically not *truly*authentic due to the fact I used cannellini beans instead of lima or fava beans. The reason for this swap is because I literally couldn’t find lima or fava beans ANYWHERE! So, I made the change. I’m still calling this succotash for the sake of simplicity, but please know that you are more than welcome to swap these cannellini beans for lima, fava or edamame beans to make this more authentic.

What other beans can I use?

Of course, lima, fava and edamame are the authentic choice. If you can’t find those, go for navy beans, great northern beans or butter beans (baby lima beans – sometimes you can find these in the can.)

Fresh corn, frozen corn or canned corn?

Is anything really better than fresh corn? No…BUT I used frozen yellow sweet corn here because of my sheer laziness. If you want to use fresh, use 2-3 pieces of corn and boil them. Then, remove the kernels from the cob and place them in the bowl for the succotash. If you want to use frozen, place it in a skillet with the lid and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until hot and no longer frozen. I would forego the canned corn for this recipe, but hey, you are always welcome to use it if you like canned corn! This is your dinner, not mine! Do what is accessible and delicious to you! 🙂

I can’t find shiitake mushrooms….what other mushrooms can I use?

I would go with something hearty and “meaty” like a crimini or portobello. The reason I used shiitake is to give a “meatiness” to the succotash, similar to how a bacon or pancetta would. I think this just adds a depth of flavor and textural element to the entire mixture. Once again, if you have a favorite mushroom or hate shiitake, go with whatever mushroom you love!

I see you deglazed the pan with sherry vinegar to give the mushrooms flavor…I don’t have that. What can I use instead?

Red wine vinegar or even a splash of sweet, tart red wine would be my second choice. Apple cider vinegar would be my third choice! The goal with the deglaze is to bring the mushrooms a bit of tart tanginess to balance out their hearty meaty flavor. I do this when I make mushroom duxelles and it’s so, so SO good (in my opinion, of course.)

seared scallops with white bean succatosh

seared scallops with white bean succatosh

Seared Scallops with White Bean and Shiitake Succotash

Healthy, flavorful and fancy! This dish has it all and is super easy to whip up!!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

White Bean and Shiitake Succotash

  • 10 oz. shiitake mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 2 large shallots minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar can sub red wine vinegar, tart red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups sweet yellow corn cooked (more info on what kind of corn and how to cook in the Q&A in blog post above!)
  • 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans washed and drained
  • 10-12 oz. cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves and stems, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine kosher salt to taste

Seared Scallops

  • 16 large dry sea scallops *not wet scallops, soaked scallops or bay scallops
  • Avocado oil for pan can sub for another high smoke point oil such as grape seed, vegetable or canola
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions
 

White Bean and Shiitake Succotash

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and season with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the minced shallots to the pan and season with a pinch or two of salt. Sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove them from the pan and place on a plate.
  • Return to the skillet and up the heat to medium high. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and let it come to a shimmer or light smoke. Add the mushrooms to the pan and spread them out as evenly as possible. The pan will seem over crowded, but trust me, the mushrooms will shrink exponentially during the cooking process. Let the mushrooms sear for 3-4 minutes while simultaneously cooking off their water content. Then, toss them and continue to toss them every 2-3 minutes until they become golden brown, shrivel up and become slightly crisp. Make sure to season with salt to taste as you go! Once the mushrooms are golden brown and there are golden brown bits on the bottom of the pan, deglaze the pan by pouring about 1-2 tbsp (or just a splash) of sherry vinegar (or a substitute) into the pan. Scrape any golden brown bits from the bottom of the pan and toss with the mushrooms, coating them in that flavor. Continue cooking the mushrooms for another 5 minutes until the vinegary essence cooks off and the mushrooms taste brighter and tangy. Taste the mushrooms to make sure the tangy and salt levels are to your liking, if not, adjust accordingly!
    TIMING TIP: use the time that your mushrooms are searing to prep the other succatosh ingredients!
  • Remove the mushrooms from the heat and place them on a plate or cutting board to cool. TIMING TIP: If you are using frozen corn for this recipe, now is the time to place the corn into the same skillet Cook on medium heat with the lid on for 5-7 minutes until the corn is perfectly steamed.
  • In the meantime, combine the rest of the ingredients for the succatosh (cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, parsley, cilantro) in a large salad bowl. Add the mushrooms and corn and toss to release any steam that forms if the mushrooms and corn are still warm or hot from cooking. Season with two generous pinches of fine koher salt. Feel free to add any other powdered seasonings (chile powder, paprika, pepper, garlic pepper, etc.) or just fresh cracked black pepper.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix together until combined then pour onto the succatosh. Toss together. Taste the succatosh to make sure the acid and salt levels are to your liking. If the acid seems low, add more lemon juice. If you want more salt, add a small pinch more and toss together.
  • Place 1-2 large scoops of the succatosh in the center of a plate and flatten with the back of your spoon. Move on to sear the scallops, which should only take a few minutes!

Seared Scallops

  • Thoroughly dry off the scallops with a paper towel and season with salt on both sides.
  • Heat a large stainless steel skillet over high heat (the highest of the high!) After 1-2 minutes, test if the skillet is hot enough by splashing a little bit of water onto the surface. If the water evaporates and bubbles, the skillet is not hot enough. If the water beads up and bounces on the surface, your skillet is good to go! Pour the water out of the skillet into the sink.
  • Season the skillet with 2-3 tbsp of avocado oil. It should be shimmering immediately and start lightly smoking because our pan is so hot!
  • Immediately place the scallops around the rim of the pan, where the oil pools up. If not all of the scallops fit, work in 2 batches. The cook time is so quick that it won't impact the recipe exponentially. Fun fact: the edges of the pan (where the oil settles) are hotter than the center. Space the scallops out accordingly and do not overcrowd the pan. If necessary, you can make them in two batches! It only takes 2 minutes.
  • Do not touch the scallops for 2-3 minutes. (For smaller scallops this will be closer to 1 minute, for larger scallops this will be closer to 2-3 minutes.) When you see a strong golden brown ring forming around the scallop, lightly lift one of the scallops (preferably the smallest one -- this is going to be your sacrificial scallop, god forbid you lift it too early) with a spatula to see if it's perfectly golden brown. If it's not there yet, put it back down and continue to let the scallops cook for another minute or so. Do not lift the scallop if the golden brown rim is only faint golden brown or light golden in color. The ring should be strong and very apparent.
  • Once the scallops are golden brown to perfection, flip them. Adjust the heat to medium and let them sear another minute. 
  • During the first minute of searing, add 2 tbsp of cold butter to the pan. Let it melt, then move the scallops to one side of the pan. Tilt the panm bringing the melted butter towards the scallops. Then, use a spoon to pour the melted butter onto the scallops as they finish searing. This is called basting. You're basically just keeping the scallops juicy, while adding a ton of flavor, as they finish searing! Because the butter gets so hot, it naturally browns and gets toasty. That's why browned butter scallops are a *~thing~*
  • Plate the scallops immediately, putting 4 on top of each plate of succatosh. Serve immediately.
Keyword cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, fresh parsley, lemon, olive oil, sea scallops, shallots, shiitake mushrooms, sweet yellow corn

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