Adobo Scallops Tostadas

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 15 mins

| Cook Time: 10 mins

| Total Time: 35 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Tostadas are a Mexican-style dish using crispy-fried corn tortillas as a base topped with a range of ingredients. We've created this recipe for Adobo Scallops Tostadas to feature scallops in a delicious Adobo marinade. The result transforms simple ingredients into a quick, but decadent meal. It only takes a few minutes to fry your own tostadas and they're remarkably easy to make. If you're not into frying, you can still get a decent crunch by baking tortillas in the oven or even pan dry-roasting tortillas. If you're going carb-free, try a lettuce wrap or standalone scallops with your choice of side.

Mexican adobo is one of a number of traditional Mexican rubs and sauces made from dried, ground chili peppers with spices and fresh aromatics. Our Mexican Adobo spice is a versatile blend that you can use directly as a dry rub on meat or, to add depth and bold flavors to just about any dish. In this recipe, we use it twice, once for a marinade and again with sour cream for a delicious adobo sauce. Tostadas are the perfect blank canvas to have your guests top their dish with a variety of accompaniments. We like to set up a tostadas-making station with individual ingredients where each person adds the desired amount of protein, herbs, onions, sauce, and guacamole to their dish. We've included a recipe to make a delicious homemade Guacamole.


  • 12 large scallops, ~ 1 lb (3 per person)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)

  • 2 tsp Piquant Post Mexican Adobo spice

  • 1 lime zest only (reserve juice for guacamole or garnish)

  • 4-6 corn tortillas (alternately, buy tostadas from market)

  • 1/4 tsp salt + black pepper

  • 1/2 cup of light sour cream

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp Piquant Post Mexican Adobo spice

  • 1 tbsp of water (to thin sauce)

  • 2 avocados

  • 1/2 red onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 1 lime, juice only

  • 1 tsp salt


Slightly stale tortillas produce the best results when frying in oil. Leave them out overnight, uncovered to dry out. Fresh tortillas also work fine.

If you don't want to fry tortillas, you can dry "fry" them in a pan to get them crunchy. You can also toast in a toaster oven or bake on a sheet pan for ~10-12 mins at 350 deg. Keep an eye on them to not burn.

Scallops cook very quickly and you don’t want them to turn hard and rubbery. We suggest you purchase large, fresh sea scallops and closely watch cooking time. Have your seafood counter select scallops that are intact (not split in half from sloppy processing). This helps keep the juice inside.

We've also tried this dish using fresh-frozen scallops, which may be easier to find in the supermarket for some customers. We had great results. Defrost your scallops in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of cold water for 20 mins. 

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.

To easily drizzle the Adobo sour cream, place in a ziplock bag. Cut the corner at the tip, and squeeze out over tostadas.


Combine scallops, adobo spice blend, lime zest, 1 tbsp oil, and salt & pepper in a bowl. Let marinate for at least 10 mins, up to 30 mins. While scallops are marinating, make the adobo sour cream and guacamole (optional).

 Make the Adobo cream: combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Add a little water to thin and more Adobo spice / salt to taste. Guacamole: scoop out flesh of avocado into a bowl and using a fork, mash with lime juice, red onion, garlic, cumin, cilantro and salt. Set both aside.

Fry the tortillas to make tostadas. Heat a heavy-bottom pan on Med-High. Add 1/2 cup oil then fry each tortilla ~1-2 mins per side and flip. Tortillas should sizzle when they hit the oil (if not turn heat up a little) and turn golden. Remove tortillas to a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but 1-2 tbsp of oil. (see digital recipe to oven bake or toast tortillas)

Lower heat on the pan to Med. Remove scallops from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Sear scallops in the pan in a single layer (don't overcrowd) ~2 mins per side. They should be crisp on the outside and cooked through. Serve 3 scallops per tostada. Drizzle with adobo sour cream & serve with guacamole, lime wedges, cilantro.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Our Mexican Adobo spice blend is infinitely versatile. Sprinkle some as a dry rub wherever you want a little spice of Mexico. Or make an easy marinade by whisking adobo spice blend with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

  • If you don't (or can't) eat scallops, try the adobo marinade with large shrimp. 

  • You can also substitute any protein for the scallops. Try the adobo marinade with pork, chicken, flank steak or even fish.

  • To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute mushrooms and for the scallops. Sauté per the recipe. Or use baked adobo tofu squares. Toss in the adobo marinade before roasting.

  • For a special family treat, try our Adobo Whole Roasted Chicken recipe.

  • Adobo spice also goes really well with pork. Try making our Pork Tenderloin Adobo recipe. Or Dust pork chops with adobo spice and pan fry, BBQ them, or roast the chops in the oven.

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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