Scrumptious Seafood: Scallops with Tomatoes, Corn, and Paprika

Are you looking for ways to eat more sustainably? Not sure which fish to buy in the grocery stores? The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch recipes are a great place to start. Often, here at the Cannery, we refer to SeaChoice and follow the David Suzuki Foundation’s initiaives as guidelines when choosing seafood. Sometimes it slips my mind that there are great resources across the border too. The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program inspired SeaChoice, so naturally, they are a great organization to look into. Here is one of their featured recipes of the month.

Wild-caught sea scallops from the Canadian/U.S. Atlantic are on the SeaChoice yellow “some concerns” list. The majority of farmed scallops worldwide are a “best choice” because the way they’re raised presents few threats to the environment.

Scallops with Tomatoes, Corn and Paprika on Quick Polenta


Quick Polenta
  • 1/2 cup polenta or coarse cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 ounces sea scallops, patted dry
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup corn kernels (from 2 medium ears)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes or small cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro



Mix 2 cups water, polenta, oil, salt, paprika and a generous amount of pepper in a medium microwave-proof bowl. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly. Return to the microwave and cook on high for 5 more minutes. Stir well. Mix in the cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning.


Pat the scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until brown on the outside but still translucent in the center, about 3 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1/2 of tablespoon oil to the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green onions and cayenne and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the corn and tomatoes and stir until the corn is just tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Mix in the coriander and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the scallops to the skillet with any juices on the plate and stir until heated and cooked through (they will feel springy to the touch and will be slightly translucent when cut with a small sharp knife, about 30 seconds).

Spoon the polenta onto 2 warmed plates, spreading in a circle. Spoon the scallops and vegetables over. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

To learn more about making ocean-friendly choices visit our temporary exhibit Seafood for Thought.

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