Scallop and Cucumber Cocktail

Cóctel de Vieiras


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4 to 6


Appears in

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Muy Bueno

By Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Published 2013

  • About

One hot summer day when I was at the market, I had the urge for a refreshingly cool summer salad minus the lettuce. I was thinking shrimp cocktail when all of a sudden I spotted beautiful fresh scallops. I had never made a scallop cocktail, but I had to try. I scoured the produce section and found ingredients I thought might go well together. The combination of cucumbers, lime juice, cilantro, and avocados transformed this salad into a refreshing appetizer pretty enough to serve in a fancy glass—oooo-la-la!


  • 6 to 8 large sea scallops or 1 cup bay scallops
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 6 Persian cucumbers, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 serrano pepper, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ avocado
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Marinade for Scallops

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon (kosher) salt


Drain and rinse scallops thoroughly, pat them dry with paper towels. Combine marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add scallops and coat well. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine celery, cucumbers, red onion, serrano pepper, and cilantro. Add the dressing and mix well. Cover and put in the fridge.

Heat a nonstick pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. The oil needs to be very hot before you add the scallops. Place the scallop’s flat side down in the hot pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan or you’ll lower the pan temperature, causing the scallops to be steamed rather than seared. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden and caramelized. Make sure they are caramelized before turning. Turn only once. Do not overcook or they will be rubbery. Cool briefly, about 2 minutes.

Once cool, quarter each scallop if you are using the large ones. If using bay scallops there is no need to quarter, use whole. Add to the salad and toss.

Pit, peel, dice, and add the avocado just before serving and toss gently. Serve in glasses and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.