How to prepare a Scallop Roe and Tarragon Sauce

Raw scallops on white background. The orange is the scallop roe.
Copyright: popovaphoto

The roe of any seafood mollusc makes for a good sauce usually to accompany the seafood from which it was removed. Scallops usually have a roe which is the orange-red fringe that you find when the scallop is opened up after cooking. To prepare this type of sauce just remove it prior to cooking as part of the prepping stage. This particular sauce has been flavoured with tarragon which is a classic herb for seafood dishes but it can be added to by cooking up some shredded leek too and incorporating it into the mix to really deliver a punch.

This sauce is often described as a coral sauce or scallop roe sauce and would make the ideal partner to steamed and poached scallops and baked scallops, and for steamed or baked fish such as halibut, John Dory and turbot.

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  • 100g butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • pinch of salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs tarragon, picked
  • 60ml dry vermouth or a dry white wine
  • 100g creme fraiche
  • ½ lemon juice


  1. Add 40 grams of butter and a splash of oil to a small pot. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook very slowly until softened, but not coloured – about 20 minutes.
  2. in a small saucepan over high heat, quickly sauté the roe in the remaining butter, season, add a splash of vermouth and bring to the boil. Immediately tip into a blender or a food processor and blitz with the creme fraiche.  Add a squeeze of lemon to add some extra acidity.
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