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A spring recipe that packs a punch

Pickled scallop recipe with pineapple and habanero compote in white bowl on blue backdropAs a new season is soon upon us, now’s the time to get into the kitchen and try this pickled scallop recipe, courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu Melbourne Chef Steffen Jensen.

"I have always been fascinated by incorporating raw elements together with minimal cooking processes, especially when using fresh seafood," Chef Steffen says.

"The inclusion of high acidic fruits and vegetables, combined with adaptation of short time fermentation creates a wonderful harmony and balance of intense flavours."

In this dish, he says the natural sweet and tanginess of early seasonal fruit creates the perfect burst of sweet and sour complexion when paired in tandem with natural elements of the sea.

See the recipe below.

pickled scallop with pineapple and habanero compote close up

Pickled scallop with pineapple and habanero compote, fermented cucumber and Avruga caviar


For the pickled scallops

    • 8 scallops
    • 2 limes (juice and zest)
    • 50 g sugar
    • Smoked Lava salt, to taste

    For the pineapple and habanero compote

    • 1 sweet pineapple
    • ¼ Tasmanian habanero chilli, sliced thinly
    • 1 shallot
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 5 g fresh grated ginger
    • 30 ml dry white wine or sherry
    • 80 ml fish stock or water
    • ¼ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
    • 1 tbs olive oil

    For the fermented cucumber

    • 1 continental cucumber
    • 100 ml water
    • 40 ml red wine vinegar
    • 30 g brown sugar
    • 10 g sea salt flakes
    • 2 g dill flowers
    • Pinch mustard seeds
    • Pinch coriander seeds

    For the assembly

    • Avruga caviar
    • Dill flowers or edible viola flowers


    For the pickled scallops

    1. Make a pickle liquid with the lime, zest and sugar.
    2. Marinate the scallops in the liquid for 60 minutes prior to serving
    3. Remove from pickling liquid. Carve into 2-3 slices depending on thickness of the scallops. Season lightly with smoked Lava salt.

    For the pineapple and habanero compote

    1. Dice the pineapple into small cubes.
    2. Brunoise the shallot and garlic.
    3. Sauté the shallots and garlic quickly in olive oil. Add ginger and the fresh pineapple.
    4. Add the chili and deglaze with white wine.
    5. Add fish stock or water and cook gently for 2 minutes.
    6. Leave to cool slightly. Season and add the fresh coriander just before serving.
    For the fermented cucumber
    1. Peel and slice the cucumber in 1cm slices.
    2. Sprinkle the salt over the cucumber to draw out the water moisture.
    3. Heat the water, spices and sugar together. Cool down slightly and poor over the cucumber.
    4. Leave for minimum 4 hours to infuse – overnight will yield best flavours.
    To assemble
    1. Serve slices of scallops with the pickled cucumber in between and on top of the pineapple compote. Dollop with a small quenelle of Avruga caviar and garnish with dill flowers or edible viola flowers.