Sweet Heat Scallops with Cilantro Lime Rice

Pan-seared scallops with a jalapeno vinaigrette dressing over cilantro lime white rice sure to please your taste buds.

This recipe for Sweet Heat Scallops with Cilantro Lime Rice is a delicious combination of flavors that meld together perfectly. The scallops are seared to perfection, with just the right amount of spice from the cayenne pepper. The cilantro lime rice provides a fresh and zesty contrast to the sweet and spicy flavors of the scallops, while the jalapeno vinaigrette adds a nice kick of heat. The orange slices give a juicy burst of sweetness to every bite, creating a perfect balance of flavors. Altogether, this dish is a well-rounded and satisfying meal that’s sure to please your taste buds.



Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes

Total Time

45 minutes


For the Scallops and Jalapeno Vinaigrette

  • 12 large fresh sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Cooking oil with a high smoke point (e.g. avocado oil, grapeseed oil)

For the Cilantro Lime Rice

  • 1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend


Prepare the Jalapeno Vinaigrette: In a blender, combine the halved jalapeno, rice vinegar, and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard, and cayenne pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Cook the Rice: In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked. While the rice cooks, in a separate bowl, mix together the shallot, garlic, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and fold in the cilantro-lime mixture. Cover to keep warm.

Cook the Scallops: Rinse the scallops under cold water and pat them dry using paper towels. Season them with sea salt and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add a coat of high smoke point oil and a tablespoon of butter. Once the skillet is hot, add the scallops, searing for about 3 minutes on each side or until they develop a golden crust. Avoid overcooking.

Serve: Lay a bed of the cilantro-lime rice on a plate. Top with seared scallops. Drizzle with the jalapeno vinaigrette. Garnish with orange slices for a citrusy contrast.

Prepare the rice ingredients.

Chop the ingredients and add to a mixing bowl.

Stir together and set aside while the rice is cooking.

Add the jalapeno, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and rice vinegar to a blender.

Puree about 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Add salt and pepper and stir together.

Pour the sauce into a small dish and set aside.

Peel and slice 2 oranges.

Remove rice from heat after 15 minutes.

Add the fresh herbs and seasoning.

Stir together and cover to keep warm while cooking the scallops.

Toss the scallops to season with fine sea salt and a light coating of cayenne pepper.

 Add the scallops to hot skilled and sear about 3 minutes on one side, leaving alone.

Flip and sear the other side another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

Plate the rice as a base and add the scallops on top.

Pour the sauce over the top and add the orange slices.