Rating: 4 stars
1 Ratings
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At Bavel in Los Angeles, Chef Ori Menashe serves shallow bowls of scallop aguachile, and diners can’t get enough. “It’s a roller-coaster flavor journey—sweet, sour, spicy, crunchy, soft, aromatic, floral, smoky, savory from the salt. So many things going on!” Menashe says. Our riff on his raw dish sends scallops to the skillet for a quick sear before bobbing in the spicy pomegranate reduction. Fresh lemon, orange, and pomegranate juices paired with serrano chile bring heat and fresh, fruity flavor to sweet scallops. Quickly searing the scallops ensures each one has the perfect texture: a lightly crisp, golden brown exterior and a tender, nearly translucent center.

March 2021


Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Recipe Summary

1 hr 10 mins
30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring pomegranate juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Boil, undisturbed, until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add sugar and 1 teaspoon salt; stir until dissolved. Transfer to a medium bowl; chill until mixture reaches room temperature, about 30 minutes. Pour lemon juice and orange juice through a fine wire-mesh strainer into pomegranate mixture; stir to combine, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 14-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle scallops evenly with black pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook scallops until golden brown on 1 side, about 4 minutes. Quickly flip scallops; cook 15 seconds. Divide scallops evenly among 4 shallow bowls; let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  • Arrange pomegranate arils, cucumbers, orange segments, and lemon segments evenly around scallops. Carefully pour 1/3 cup chilled pomegranate mixture around inside edge of each bowl so juice runs to bottom of bowl without covering scallops. Top servings evenly with serrano slices, if using. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil evenly over scallop mixture; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with lavash.

Make Ahead

Pomegranate reduction can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.