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How Can I Prepare Scallops?

Broiled, bacon-wrapped scallops are a popular part food.
The delicate flavor of scallops favors simple preparation and needs little embellishment.
Cooked scallops.
Scallops in their shells.
Black olives can be used as a garnish for scallops.
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  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
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Scallops are one of the more popular types of shellfish in many places around the world. As with many fish dishes, there are several ways to cook and serve them. Before beginning to prepare any recipe, it is necessary to clean the fresh shellfish. Here are some tips on working with fresh scallops as well as with frozen product.

The first step in using scallops is to remove the meat from the shell. There are actually two kinds of meat included in each scallop. The adductor muscle is the portion normally identified as the scallop proper, and is meaty and white in appearance. The roe or coral is the second meat section and normally is soft and somewhere between red and off white. It is not unusual in many western scallop recipes to use only the scallop and toss the roe. However, in some parts of the world, the two meats are extracted from the shell and separated for use in different dishes.

After the meat is removed from the shell, the scallop is usually sliced into two parts. Rinsing the meat is sufficient to finish the cleaning process. However, do not soak them in water, as this will dilute the taste. Instead, place the scallops on a paper towel and allow them to dry as you look through fish recipes for a way to cook the shellfish.

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One thing to keep in mind is that fresh scallops should be cooked soon after they are removed from the shell. Fortunately, shellfish of this type does not take very long to cook through. A simple approach is to place them in a frying pan along with butter and seasonings of your choice. Gently toss the scallops, allowing the seasonings and butter to coat and slowly sear the meat. Once seared, they can combined with a cream sauce and served over pasta.

Baked scallops are also a quick and easy option. The shellfish can be covered with a light coating and placed in a baking dish. They will cook quickly and the coating will provide a crunch that is somewhat like the texture of fried popcorn shrimp. Baked scallops can be served along with a garden salad and provide a tasty meal that is light and nutritious.

Scallop salad is also an option. A basic recipe for the salad would include green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. These three ingredients are chopped and combined in a mixing bowl. The shellfish is pan seared to unlock the flavor and added to the bowl. As a binder, it is possible to prepare a simple oil and vinegar dressing or use a commercially packaged Italian dressing. After tossing the ingredients, serve the salad on a bed of lettuce leaves and garnish with chopped black olives.

Cooking scallops is a great way to enjoy seafood without having to go through a lot of work. If fresh ones are not available, the frozen variety will work in many situations. However, frozen scallops do tend to work better in recipes that include a sauce.

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OeKc05
Post 8

My favorite Japanese restaurant offers teriyaki scallops on its hibachi menu. You can sit there and watch the chef cook them on a hot plate with vegetables and rice.

I love the rich flavor of these scallops. The fact that all the veggies and the rice are cooked in the same sauce ties everything together, so the scallops don't taste strange served alongside zucchini and carrots.

Normally, a scrambled egg would be an odd accompaniment to scallops. When it is cooked on the hibachi grill and mixed in with all the other flavors and spices, it tastes like it belongs with everything on the plate.

There are always leftovers when I eat a hibachi meal, because they offer such heaping servings to you. I always eat the scallops the next day at lunch, because I'm scared to keep the meal any longer than that. I know they've already been cooked, but I don't want to risk getting sick.

Perdido
Post 7

@JackWhack – Scallops taste like a combination between shrimp and crab, with a little lobster thrown into the mix. They don't taste like salmon or tuna, so you're in luck.

The main thing that scares some people away from scallops is their texture. They are very rubbery, even when fully cooked. It doesn't affect the flavor, but if you despise chewing rubbery food, you probably won't like them.

I have had scallops seared and baked, and they are all good, in my opinion. I've had them in a tomato based sauce with onions on top of grouper, and I've had them tossed with butter and cooked with shrimp.

JackWhack
Post 6

Do shrimp and scallops taste similar? I've never tried scallops, mostly because I had no idea what to expect.

I love the flavor of shrimp, but I'm not too big on fish like salmon or tuna. Which of these is closer to the flavor of scallops?

lighth0se33
Post 5

@andee – I use garlic, butter, and lemon in my seared scallops recipe, too. However, I cook mine in a frying pan.

If I'm using unsalted butter, I add salt to the mix. If I'm using salted butter, I don't add any salt. It is easy to get too much salt and ruin the taste.

I melt the butter in the pan before I put anything else in it. Then, I add the scallops and season them with minced garlic and a few squirts of lemon juice.

I also like to add some sort of seasoning that is meant for seafood. There are a couple of varieties of these, and all are somewhat spicy, but not in a hot way. They are just full of flavor.

Mykol
Post 4

@honeybees-- I have found it depends on how you fix them. If I am breading the scallops, I haven't found much difference in the taste. Most of the time I can't find fresh scallops, so have to use the frozen ones.

I think the fresh scallops will always taste the best, but if you can't find them, you will still get a good meal using the frozen ones. If I don't bread my scallops, I like to make a light sauce with just a touch of garlic.

honeybees
Post 3

Is there much difference in the taste when you use frozen scallops vs fresh? I have never made these at home, but it sounds like it would be pretty easy to do.

When we order them at our favorite restaurant they are fresh scallops. I don't want to be disappointed with the taste if I buy the frozen ones.

andee
Post 2

Scallops can be expensive to order when you are at a restaurant. I buy scallops in a big bag at Costco and fix them at home. They are just as good and a whole lot cheaper.

I have had good results broiling them. Once I clean them off I put them in the broiler pan and sprinkle some garlic powder on them. Next I drizzle them with some melted butter. You can also add some lemon juice to this if you want.

If you aren't too concerned about the calories, you can melt some extra butter to dip the scallops in when you are eating them. These scallops melt in your mouth and have become one of our favorite meals.

golf07
Post 1

When I treat myself to scallops, I like to use a simple scallops recipe that does not cover up the taste of the scallops.

Some recipes I have tried have such a heavy sauce that all you taste is the sauce and not so much of the scallops.

I like to cook the scallops in some olive oil seasoned with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. I let them soak in this a few minutes before I cook them on the stove. It really doesn't take very long for the scallops to cook through and it also doesn't take long for me to eat every last one of them.

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