Andrew Laycock's Seared Hand Dived Orkney Scallops

Learn how to make one of Head Chef Andrew Laycock's signature dishes!

Andrew Laycock's Seared Hand Dived Orkney Scallops

About Wilde Thyme Head Chef Andy Laycock -

A passion for world food and attention to detail saw him rapidly gain experience and he was promoted to Head Chef of Wilde Thyme in 2013.  He was a finalist in the Scottish Chef of the Year 2015, and twice a finalist in Game Chef of the Year, a national competition. 


  • 1 hand dived Orkney scallop in its shell
  • 1 bulb of fennel 
  •  1 tsp of fennel seeds 
  •  2 shallots 
  •  1 carrot (grated) 
  •  150ml of white wine 
  •  100ml of fish stock 
  •  100ml double cream 
  •  50ml of semi skimmed milk 
  •  100ml part white wine vinegar 
  •  200ml parts olive oil 
  •  100ml part water 
  •  1 star anise 
  •  Sea salt
  •  Micro herbs for garnish


  • Open the Scallop, remove the meat and roe. Separate the roe and retain. Clean on half of the shell for presentation.

For the fennel:

  • Top and tail the fennel bulb and slice finely, keeping the trim. 
  • Into a pan, add the white wine vinegar, olive oil, water, 1 sliced shallots, 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds and 1/2 tsp of salt. 
  • Add sliced fennel to the pan and bring to the boil, simmer until tender.

For the sauce:

  • Into a pan, place the fennel trim, the scallop roe, the remaining fennel seeds, the grated carrot, 1 star anise and the remaining sliced shallots.
  • Put on a high heat until the ingredients start to brown.
  • De-glaze; by adding the white wine to the pan.
  • Reduce until the white wine has virtually evaporated
  • Add the fish stock and bring to the boil.
  • Add the cream and semi skimmed milk, reduce by a one third.
  • Add the ingredients to a food processor and blend. Strain through a fine sieve and season with salt to taste.

For the scallop:

  • Place a frying pan on a high heat and a little oil. When the pan and oil are hot, Add the scallop; presentation side down, season with touch of salt.
  • Cook for 1 minute or until the side is caramelised golden brown.
  • Flip the Scallop and cook for a further 30 seconds, again season lightly with salt.
  • Take the pan off the heat.

Assembling the dish:

  • Sit the cleaned scallop shell on a bed of sea rock salt.
  • Place the drained fennel and shallot confit in the bottom of the shell.
  • Place the cooked scallop on top of the confit.
  • Foam the sauce Jaqueline with hand blender; until light and foamy.
  • Spoon the foamed sauce onto the scallop. Garnish with micro herbs; chervil, celery cress and fennel shoots.

Then serve, and enjoy!

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