Sea Scallops in Tangerine Sauce (Coquilles St. Jacques avec Sauce Mandarine)

The beaches along the Atlantic coast in Southwest France are renown for their long stretches of white sand and temperate climate. Mixed with these gentle beaches are fishing villages where the Atlantic meets freshwater estuaries teaming with special oysters and sea scallops. This location is the origin of many delicious seafood dishes, such as this sweet and savory scallop dish.

French Sea Scallops in Tangerine Sauce

Coquilles St. Jacques with Sauce Mandarine – Sea Scallops in Tangerine Sauce

This delicate seafood dish from the coast of Gascony is an excellent example of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement in mid-twentieth century France. Heavily reduced sauces allow the fresh flavors of the main ingredient to come through. This wonderful dish highlights the delicate flavors of fresh caught sea scallops which is enhanced by the tangerine orange sauce. The dish makes for a memorable appetizer or lunch.
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Course: Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine: French, Southwest France
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Broiling pan
  • 2 Small saucepans
  • Gallon plastic freezer bag


  • 16 large Sea scallops, fresh or fresh frozen
  • 1 tbsp Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Celery leaves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch Dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • cup Tangerine orange juice
  • cup Fish stock (or ¼ cup fish glaze)
  • ¾ cup Chicken stock or 2 tbsp demi-glace
  • ½ cup Heavy cream
  • 1 medium Lemon


  • Prep – Rinse scallops, pat dry with paper towels. Combine in a plastic freezer bag with parsley, thyme, celery leaves, and olive oil. Marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours. If not using fish glaze, reduce fish stock to ¼ cup by boiling in a small saucepan. If not using demi-glace, reduce chicken stock by boiling to 2 tbsp. Boil tangerine juice until reduced to ⅓ cup.
  • Add demi-glace and fish glaze to reduced tangerine juice in its saucepan. Bring to a boil, add cream and boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes. Bubbles will appear on the surface and the sauce will begin to bind. The sauce will be ready when you drag a wooden spoon across the bottom and can see the bottom for an instant. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Right before serving, preheat broiler. Arrange scallops on a broiler pan and broil for 2 minutes on each side. They should be lightly browned and just cooked through.
    Reheat sauce. Spoon about 2 tbsp sauce onto each appetizer plate, tilting the plate to cover the bottom evenly. Set 4 scallops on each plate and serve hot.


  • If sauce seems too sweet, add a few drops of lemon juice. 
  • If sauce turns oily, stir in a tbsp water to smooth it out.
  • If sauce seems too thin or strong tasting, swirl in bits of butter.


Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 786mg | Potassium: 574mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 633IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg

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