scallops with bacon sabayon

scallops bacon sabayon

Here’s a neat little starter for when you want to have something rich and indulgent. Some lovely sweet scallops on a savoury bacon sabayon. Just remember it’s not a hollandaise sauce OK? Nothing to fret over, just some egg and oil mixed together slowly over heat 🙂

This is inspired by something I ate at Petrus:

scallops bacon sabayon

Mine isn’t a patch on the refined beauty of this one, where the sauce tasted like eating smooth bacon and eggs! But it’s a substantial starter to show off with. Read my full review of Petrus here.

scallops bacon sabayon

scallops with bacon sabayon

Gary @ BigSpud
Course Starter
Cuisine English
Servings 2 people


  • 1 rasher smoked bacon
  • 100 ml plain oil such as rapeseed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 12 - 16 baby scallops
  • chives to garnish


  • Get a frying pan over a high heat. Fill a saucepan with some water and get it on to gently boil. Put a bowl on top of this saucepan to make a bain marie.
  • Trim the fat from the bacon and add to the frying pan. While it renders and curls up, dice the rest of the bacon and add to the hot bacon fat. After two or three minutes the fat should start to go into the pan. Once the bacon is crisp, decant the fat to a shallow bowl and discard the bacon (or eat it, I won't tell anyone).
  • Put the egg yolks in the bowl and whisk to break up. Add a few drops of the bacon fat and whisk until disappeared. Keep adding a tiny splash of bacon fat and whisking in until you've run out of fat, and then start adding rapeseed oil instead. Keep whisking the whole time to prevent the eggs gathering at the bottom of the bowl and scrambling. Keep whisking and adding oil until it reaches a creamy-custardy consistency. Taste for salt (the bacon will have added quite a bit) and tone it down with a zip of lemon juice if you think it needs it. When it's done remove the bowl from the heat and put to one side while you prepare the scallops.
  • As the sauce comes together put the pan back over a high heat and fry the baby scallops. They take 2 - 3 minutes to cook on both sides. Season with salt before they leave the pan.
  • Ladle some sauce on to a plate, dot with scallops and scatter over chives to serve. Eat immediately.


  • Can you advise me as to why the sabayon suddenly separates when I have 30ml of oil left to add? I added the oil a teaspoon at a time

    • Hi Alan. I would add less than a teaspoon as a time, literally a drop or two and ensure it’s incorporated before moving on. Once you have a glossy paste begin adding more gradually. Good luck!

  • Thanks for that, Gary. Should there be any bubble movement in the saucepan of water or just off the boil? While I have been adding the oil and whisking the sauce has the consistency of mayonnaise rather than a sauce. Is this the correct behaviour.

    • Just off the boil would give you best results with less chance of scrambling. If you are heading towards mayonnaise the tiniest splash of hot water will help let it down, but don’t add too much.

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