Fresh Scallop Crudo Recipe – Easy and Delicious Seafood Appetizer

Fresh Scallop Crudo Recipe - Easy and Delicious Seafood Appetizer

Experience the pure essence of the sea with this elegant scallop crudo. This Italian-inspired dish showcases pristine raw scallops, elevated with just a touch of high-quality olive oil, flaky sea salt, and a whisper of lemon juice.

Crudo, meaning ‘raw’ in Italian, is a timeless preparation that celebrates the natural flavors of fresh seafood. While some may call it “Italian sashimi,” crudo stands on its own as a distinct culinary tradition. This scallop crudo, or “crudo di capesante,” is a prime example of how simplicity can yield extraordinary results.

The key to an outstanding scallop crudo lies in the quality of your ingredients. This dish demands nothing less than the freshest, highest-grade scallops available. Seek out ‘dry’ scallops that haven’t been treated with preservatives or frozen. These premium scallops boast a naturally sweet, briny flavor and a tender texture that’s unmatched by their treated counterparts.

While the preparation is straightforward, the flavors are anything but simple. Each bite offers a perfect balance of the scallop’s delicate sweetness, the fruity notes of extra-virgin olive oil, a bright hint of lemon, and a subtle kick from high-quality chile flakes. The result is a dish that’s both refreshing and indulgent – a true celebration of the sea’s bounty.

Scallop Crudo


  • 12 ounces (340g) very fresh dry-packed sea scallops, sliced horizontally into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (see note)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Fresh lemon juice and freshly grated lemon zest, for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for garnish
  • Good-quality red pepper flakes, such as Aleppo, Espelette, or peperoncino, for garnish


  1. Arrange the thinly sliced scallop rounds on individual serving plates, creating an visually appealing presentation.
  2. Carefully drizzle each plate with a light stream of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, enhancing the scallops’ natural richness.
  3. Squeeze a small amount of fresh lemon juice over the scallops, being careful not to overpower their delicate flavor.
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of freshly grated lemon zest over each serving, adding a bright, citrusy aroma.
  5. Garnish with a light dusting of flaky sea salt, which will provide a pleasant textural contrast and enhance the scallops’ natural brininess.
  6. Finish with a judicious sprinkle of high-quality chile flakes, adding a subtle warmth that complements the scallops’ sweetness.
  7. Serve immediately to enjoy the scallops at their peak freshness and texture.


When selecting scallops for this recipe, it’s crucial to seek out ‘dry’ scallops that haven’t been treated with chemicals or preservatives. These untreated scallops offer superior flavor and texture. Look for scallops with varied hues ranging from off-white to light orange, and avoid any sitting in milky liquid. If dry scallops are unavailable, consider using another sashimi-grade fish as a substitute to maintain the dish’s quality and safety.

While this recipe provides a classic preparation, feel free to experiment with garnishes to suit your taste. Some variations include adding a few capers, fresh herbs, or trying different citrus juices like orange. Remember, the goal is to enhance, not overpower, the scallops’ natural flavor.

Enjoy your homemade scallop crudo – a dish that brings the flavors of coastal Italy right to your table!

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