Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
Lemon wedges for garnish
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound dry sea scallops, or large bay scallops (see Note)
Preheat oven to 450 °F. Spread sesame seeds in a baking pan and toast in the oven as it warms up, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Coat a wire rack that is large enough to hold scallops in a single layer with cooking spray. Place the rack on a baking sheet and set aside.
Combine the toasted sesame seeds, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper and cayenne in a bowl. Set aside.
Whisk flour, buttermilk, egg white and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in another bowl until creamy and smooth.
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Place cornstarch in a shallow bowl, dredge a scallop and shake to remove excess. Using tongs or 2 forks, dip scallop in the buttermilk mixture, and then in the breadcrumb mixture, shaking to remove excess breading. Place on the prepared rack, and repeat with remaining scallops. Scallops should not touch.
Bake the scallops until the coating is golden brown and the scallops are firm and opaque in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Note: Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops that have been treated with STP (“wet” scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are not only mushy and less flavorful, but will not brown properly.