Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Poached Achiote Scallops

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 - 6 servings
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 ounces achiote paste

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups fish stock or clam juice

1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed

2 pounds sea scallops, muscle removed, or rock shrimp

1/2 cup capers


  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Saute the onions with the salt until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and achiote paste and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to avoid scorching. Add the tomato paste and pour in the fish stock or clam juice and boil 5 minutes longer. Stir in the pepper and vinegar and remove from the heat.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree. Pass through a strainer. The sauce keeps up to 4 days
  3. To finish, pour the sauce into a large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the scallops or shrimp, reduce the heat to medium and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Serve over a bed of white rice and garnish with the capers.