Bay Scallop Sauté with Fiery Lime Sauce

Hotatégai no Sudachi Itamé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

An Ocean of Flavor: The Japanese Way with Fish and Seafood

An Ocean of Flavor

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1988

  • About

Japanese horseradish, called wasabi, is affectionately referred to as namida, or “tears,” by many sushi bar aficionados. Here the wasabi is used to emblazon a delicate butter sauce, added to the scallops at the last moment. Neither wasabi’s aroma nor its fire will withstand exposure to high heat, so the sauce must be added just before serving.


Fiery Lime Sauce

  • ¼ stick (2 tablespoons) sweet butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi (Japanese horseradish) powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 1 tablespoon saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  1. With a fork, whip the butter until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the horseradish powder with the lime juice to make a paste. Add the paste to the butter, whipping it in. Chill the seasoned butter.
  2. Toss the scallops with the rice wine to moisten them. Sprinkle the salt over the scallops.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet over a high flame. Lightly oil the skillet. Sauté the scallops over high heat for 1-1½ minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lime juice and sauté for another 30-40 seconds. Then add the soy sauce and sauté for yet another 30-40 seconds.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the chilled butter and stir as the butter melts to make the sauce. Serve immediately.