Perfect Scallop Sushi Recipe: A Guide to Flavors & Stunning Presentation

We’re diving deep into the culinary sea today to share a treasure that’s as elegant as it is delicious: our scallop sushi recipe. This dish, a favorite among sushi aficionados, marries the delicate sweetness of scallops with the tangy embrace of sushi rice, creating a flavor profile that’s both refined and unforgettable.

Sushi, with its origins steeped in centuries of tradition, has traveled from the heart of Japan to conquer palates around the globe. But there’s something uniquely special about scallop sushi. It’s not just a dish; it’s an experience. The buttery texture of scallops paired with the subtle sharpness of rice vinegar and the gentle caress of nori wraps the senses in a culinary hug that’s hard to forget.

So, whether you’re a seasoned sushi chef or a curious foodie looking to expand your culinary repertoire, join us as we explore the art of making scallop sushi. It’s simpler than you might think, and the results are sure to impress.


Now that we’ve introduced the delightful experience of making scallop sushi, it’s time to dive into the details. Here, we’ll list all the ingredients you’ll need to bring this culinary masterpiece to life.

For the Scallop Topping

  • 10 large scallops, muscle removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

For the Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups sushi or short-grain rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Garnishing and Serving

  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Seaweed strips, for garnish
  • Wasabi and pickled ginger, for serving

Gathering these ingredients is the first step toward creating exquisite scallop sushi that promises to impress. With everything prepped and ready, we’ll move on to combining these elements with precision and care.

Required Tools and Equipment

Now that we’ve gathered our ingredients, let’s turn our attention to the tools and equipment necessary to craft our scallop sushi. Ensuring you have the right tools not only simplifies the process but also makes the entire experience more enjoyable. Here’s everything you’ll need to bring this dish to life:

  • Sharp Knife: A well-sharpened knife is crucial for thinly slicing the scallops and other garnishes. A dull knife can damage the delicate texture of the scallop.
  • Sushi Mat: A bamboo sushi mat will be your best friend when it comes to rolling the sushi. It helps achieve a tight roll, which is key for perfect scallop sushi.
  • Rice Cooker or Pot: To cook the sushi rice, you’ll need either a rice cooker for convenience or a pot for the stovetop method.
  • Rice Paddle or Spatula: This will help you gently fold the seasoning into the sushi rice without smashing the grains.
  • Small Bowl of Water: Having a bowl of water nearby is a pro tip for keeping your fingers from getting too sticky while handling the sushi rice.
  • Cutting Board: Choose a large enough board where you can comfortably slice your ingredients and assemble the rolls.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key in cooking, especially when it comes to seasoning the sushi rice. Ensure you have a set of measuring tools for accuracy.
  • Cling Film: This is optional but can be helpful to cover the bamboo mat when rolling the sushi to keep it clean and prevent sticking.

Having these tools and equipment ready and at your disposal will streamline the sushi-making process, turning it into a fun and stress-free cooking adventure. With everything in place, we’re now ready to dive into preparing our scallop sushi, a dish that promises an explosion of flavors with each bite.

Preparing the Sushi Rice

Having the right tools and ingredients at hand, we now turn our focus to preparing the sushi rice, a pivotal base for our scallop sushi. Achieving the perfect sushi rice consistency and flavor is crucial for the ultimate sushi experience.

Rinsing the Rice

  • Start with 2 cups of sushi or short-grain rice. Place it in a large bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with cold water and gently stir the rice with your hands. You’ll notice the water becoming cloudy due to the starch.
  • Drain this cloudy water and repeat the rinsing process until the water runs almost clear, usually after 3 to 4 times.
  • Finally, drain the rice thoroughly in a colander and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This step ensures the grains are properly hydrated before cooking.

Cooking the Rice

  • Transfer the rinsed rice into a rice cooker or pot.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of water. If using a pot, cover it with a tight-fitting lid.
  • If using a rice cooker, turn it on the regular setting. For stovetop cooking, bring the rice to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  • After cooking, let the rice rest for 10 minutes with the lid on to allow the grains to settle and become fluffy.

Seasoning the Rice

  • While the rice cooks, prepare the sushi vinegar mix by combining 1/3 cup of rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small saucepan.
  • Heat the mixture just until the sugar dissolves. Be careful not to boil it.
  • Transfer the cooked and slightly cooled rice to a large bowl, preferably wooden, to help absorb excess moisture.
  • Gently fold in the sushi vinegar mix with a rice paddle or wooden spoon, slicing through the rice at an angle to avoid mashing the grains.
  • Fan the rice while mixing in the seasoning to cool it down to room temperature quickly. This process not only cools the rice but also gives it a beautiful glossy appearance and the perfect sticky texture for sushi.

With the sushi rice perfectly seasoned and cooled, we’re ready to assemble our scallop sushi, promising a delightful bite that’s a harmony of sweet, tangy, and umami flavors.

Preparing the Scallop Topping

Now that our sushi rice is perfectly seasoned and ready, it’s time to focus on the star of our dish: the scallop topping. Preparing the scallops correctly is essential for achieving that melt-in-your-mouth texture that pairs so beautifully with our tangy sushi rice.

Marinating the Scallops

To begin, gather your scallops – preferably fresh, large sea scallops for their sweet flavor and perfect size. We’ll need:

  • 10 large sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (sweet sake)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

First, pat the scallops dry with paper towels to ensure we get a nice sear on them. Mix the soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Coat the scallops evenly with the marinade and let them sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature. This marination time allows the flavors to infuse into the scallops, enhancing their natural sweetness.

Searing the Scallops

Once our scallops are marinated, it’s time to sear them:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan or skillet over medium-high heat. You can test the heat by flicking a tiny amount of water onto the pan; if it sizzles immediately, it’s ready.
  2. Place the scallops in the pan, ensuring they are not touching each other to allow for an even sear.
  3. Cook each side for about 1 to 2 minutes or until a golden-brown crust forms. Be careful not to overcook the scallops, as they can become tough and chewy.
  4. Remove the scallops from the heat and let them cool for a moment on a plate.

Slicing the Scallops for Topping

After the scallops have slightly cooled, it’s time to prepare them for the sushi topping:

  1. With a sharp knife, slice each scallop horizontally into two to three thin slices, depending on their size. This ensures that each piece of sushi gets an ample amount of scallop, covering the rice beautifully.
  2. Arrange the sliced scallops on a plate. They’re now ready to lay atop your perfectly seasoned sushi rice, completing the ensemble.

Following these steps, we ensure that every bite of our scallop sushi delivers an exquisite balance of flavors and textures, promising a delightful culinary adventure.

Assembling the Scallop Sushi

With our sushi rice seasoned to perfection and scallops marinated, seared, and sliced, we’re ready to bring these elements together to create a beautiful, flavorful sushi. The assembly process is simple, yet it requires a gentle touch and attention to detail to ensure each piece is just right.

Shaping the Sushi Rice

First, we’ll shape the sushi rice. With wet hands to prevent sticking, grab about a tablespoon of rice. Gently press it between your palms to form a small oval-shaped ball. The key here is to compact the rice just enough that it holds together without being squashed. You should end up with a delicate, airy rice base that’s ready to be topped. Repeat this process until you have enough rice bases for your scallop slices.

Adding the Scallop Topping

Take a slice of the marinated and seared scallop and lay it gently on top of a rice base. Use a light touch to slightly press the scallop into the rice, ensuring it adheres without the rice losing its shape. The warmth of the scallop will help it mold slightly to the rice, creating a seamless bond between the two. Repeat this with all your rice bases and scallop slices, taking care to maintain the integrity of each component.

Garnishing the Sushi

To finish off our scallop sushi, a little garnish goes a long way in enhancing both the appearance and the flavor. A dab of wasabi on top of the scallop adds a punchy, piquant contrast, while a light drizzle of soy sauce brings out the umami flavors. For a touch of color and a fresh, crisp texture, sprinkle finely chopped green onions or a sliver of avocado atop each piece. These garnishes not only add to the visual appeal but also introduce delightful flavor notes that complement the creamy scallop and tangy rice perfectly.

Through these steps, we’ve transformed simple ingredients into exquisite scallop sushi, ready to dazzle your taste buds and elevate your culinary experience.

Serving and Presentation Tips

After mastering the art of crafting the perfect scallop sushi, the final, yet equally crucial step in our culinary adventure is the presentation. Serving sushi is not just about placing it on a plate; it’s an art form that enhances the overall dining experience. Let’s explore some tips to ensure your scallop sushi not only tastes divine but looks stunning on the plate.

Choosing the Right Plate

The first step in presentation is selecting an appropriate plate. We recommend a simple, clean, white plate or a traditional Japanese sushi plate. The minimalistic approach lets your scallop sushi be the star of the show. The contrast of the vibrant sushi against the simple backdrop truly makes the colors pop.


When arranging the scallop sushi on the plate, consider symmetry and balance. Organize the sushi pieces in odd numbers, as it is visually more appealing and is considered auspicious in Japanese culture. You can place them in a straight line or curve them gently for a more dynamic presentation.


Garnishes not only add a burst of color but also complement the flavors of the scallop sushi. Thinly sliced green onions, microgreens, or even edible flowers can elevate the visual appeal. A small dollop of wasabi on the side and a neat puddle of soy sauce can also be aesthetically pleasing and practical for dipping.

Adding a Touch of Elegance

For an added touch of elegance, place a small pickled ginger rose on the side of the plate. The pink hue of the ginger adds a splash of color and offers a palate-cleansing flavor between bites.


Lastly, consider the lighting if you’re serving this at a dinner party or taking photographs. Soft, natural light can enhance the textures and colors of your scallop sushi, making it look even more inviting.

Following these serving and presentation tips, we ensure not just a delicious meal but also a visually mesmerizing dining experience. Our aim is to create a delightful moment where every bite of scallop sushi feels like a celebration of both taste and beauty.


We’ve walked through the art of making scallop sushi from start to finish, paying close attention to every detail that turns a simple dish into a culinary masterpiece. Remember, it’s not just about the taste but also how it’s presented. With our tips on garnishing and presentation, we’re confident you’ll impress not just yourself but your guests too. So go ahead, give it a try and watch as every bite of your carefully crafted scallop sushi becomes a celebration of flavors and aesthetics. Here’s to creating memorable dining experiences that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate!

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