You're losing out, my buddy, if you haven't tried the goodness that is a scallop. Because even non-shellfish enthusiasts can't get enough of this delectable seafood! If you're frightened to try anything because you're afraid it won't taste nice, you've come to the correct place.
Varieties of Scallops:
Scallops come in two varieties. Their biggest distinction is their size.
Sea Scallops - These larger scallops come from deep ocean seas and are much more popular. Diver scallops are extremely rare sea scallops since they are picked by hand by scallop divers. These larger scallops are typically found in restaurants and are significantly more expensive than bay scallops.
Bay Scallops - These smaller scallops are sweeter in flavor and highly soft, making them ideal for salads or cooking in soups and stews. They are caught in shallower waters such as estuaries and bays. Bay scallops are significantly less expensive than sea scallops.
Scallop Purchasing Guidelines
Fresh scallops should be firm to the touch, have no fishy odor, and be a beige to creamy white hue. Scallops should not be too wet, slimy, or stink like ammonia.
When choosing sea scallops, seek for dry scallops - I get dry scallops that are U/10 or U/12 when I can (meaning about 10 or 12 per pound). They're quite large scallops. I prefer dry ones because they don't contain preservatives and don't release much water when cooked. This results in a lovely charred crust.
Scallops should be purchased when they are on sale because they are more expensive. However, the extra money is well worth it to me. But they do go on sale from time to time, which is why I get them.
If you don't have access to fresh scallops, frozen scallops are a decent substitute. Make sure there are no ice crystals or freezer burn on the scallops. Purchase high-quality scallops from a reputable supermarket or market. Before cooking, allow the frozen meat to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and blot dry with paper towels.
Can Scallops Be Eaten Raw?
Yes, raw scallops are edible.
Raw scallops are considered a delicacy. But there are a few things you should know before you eat them.
Find ones that aren't inhabited by helminths, and you're almost done.
Also, don't eat them by yourselves. Although raw bivalve adductor muscles are appetizing, they require little support.
Consume fresh scallops with anything sour. Lemon juice, olive oil, and a touch of salt are all good options.
Serve the scallops cold as well. They're delicious cold.
Avoid overpowering the scallop flavor with too much dressing. If you do, you will miss the sensation for which you took the risk.
What do scallops taste like?
Scallops taste similar to their cousins, clams and oysters. They also have crab and lobster sweetness. They have a delicate nutty flavor akin to hazelnuts and almonds and are sweet and buttery. They don't, however, have the same constancy.
While soft, scallops are also chewy. Cook them with caution since they might become rubbery if overcooked.
Scallops Cooking Instructions
The cooking time for scallops is determined by their size. Longer means bigger. Jumbo or sea scallops should be cooked for an extended amount of time. Because bay scallops are smaller, they cook faster.
Scallops should be cooked at 145 degrees Fahrenheit/63 degrees Celsius. Use 450f/232c for pan-searing, and the scallops' center should reach 130f/55c on the second flip.
After you remove the scallops from the heat source, they continue to cook. They should complete at the recommended temperature if removed at 130°F.
What Foods Pair Well With Scallops?
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Scallop meat has a distinct flavor that is evocative of crab: delicate and slightly sweetish, so it complements a wide range of other goods. Scallop meat can be cooked in a variety of ways, including simmering, frying, boiling, and steaming. Some chefs even consume scallops uncooked, just dusting them with lemon juice and olive oil. Scallops complement:
- lemon and grapefruit,
- tomato and cucumber,
- carrots and pumpkin,
- cheese and cream,
- olive oil and butter,
- cilantro and coriander,
- white and green asparagus,
- ginger root,
- rice (e.g. creamy asparagus risotto),
- white wine and champagne.