Do You Wash Scallops Before Cooking? (Things you should know)

Washing scallops before cooking is very important because if they aren’t washed, the meat will have a fishy flavor.

The easiest way to clean shucked scallops is to put them in a bowl of water for 10 minutes and then rinse off the bits of sand on the shell.

Now let’s look at how to prepare, clean, and wash scallops if you bought them whole.

Preparing scallops for cleaning

Follow the below preparation process just before you start to clean and wash the scallops.

Frozen scallops

Remove frozen scallops from the freezer and thaw them.

Bay and dried scallops

Place bay scallops and dried scallops in a saucepan of simmering water for 3 minutes. Remove bay scallop/dried scallop with a slotted spoon to prevent them from cooking too long, then place on paper towels to drain excess moisture.

How to clean scallops

First, start by removing one side from the scallop shell and then cut open the other half like you would a clam and.

Next, use your fingers to remove the muscle from the other half of the shell and cut off any frills from either end, and discard them.

Then, place the scallops under running water for two to three minutes and wash away any remaining pieces of the shell.

Next, scrub each scallop with a stiff brush to remove any remaining shell pieces, sand, or dirt, and then rinse in cold water once more.

To finish, pat each scallop dry with paper towels and store them in a cool dark place until ready to cook.

Brining scallops

If you’re a fan of fresh scallops, you should also be a fan of bringing them. The process will allow the scallops to absorb water and seasonings throughout their WHOLE body – not just on the surface.

So If you want your scallops to absorb water and other seasonings throughout their whole body, then you should soak them before cooking.

Take your clean scallop (or as many as you want to brine) and place it in a container with enough cold water just below where they’ll sit. Place the scallops in a refrigerator and leave them to soak for 24 hours. These scallops will absorb water and seasonings throughout their whole body.

Finally, rinse the brined scallops in cold water to remove any excess salt.

Tip: If you want to soften your scallop then use milk or buttermilk. This also works with squid and shrimp. Place them in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap. Leave it in a refrigerator for at least 3 hours to soften. After that, the scallops will cook very fast.

How do you know if a scallop is bad?

If you notice an “off” odor, a slippery texture, or a color change, then the scallop is bad. Also, bad scallops can make you very sick and you could end up in the hospital. So, throw the scallops out immediately.

And scallops that are left for more than five days have lost their firmness and they’re past the prime for scallop eating, according to the New England Aquarium.

For best results, use only fresh, clean scallops.

Easy way to cook scallops

An easy way to cook scallops is to add a small amount of olive oil or butter to a frying pan and when it melts, add the scallops and cook them for 2 minutes on each side.

This will cook them with a nice golden crust and keep the inside tender. Make sure not to over-cook your scallops and left untouched they should be fully cooked in about 4-5 minutes.

You can also garnish your finished scallops with fresh parsley, lemon wedges, chives, or salt and pepper.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Scallops

Scallops are expensive and they should be treated with care. There are a couple of mistakes to avoid when cooking scallops:

Mistake #1: Cooking Scallops on a skillet

Cooking scallops on a skillet can lead to uneven cooking and burned pieces.

Mistake #2: Baking Scallops with lemon sauce

Baking scallops with lemon sauce can result in dry and tough pieces of meat.

Mistake #3 Unsoaked Scallops

Scallops should be soaked in water for at least ten minutes before cooking them. If they haven’t been soaked, the flesh will remain tough and rubbery.

Mistake #4 Unwashed Scallops

Scallops can also smell fishy if they have not been cleaned well enough before cooking them, so make sure to clean scallops well so that the flavor stays fresh

Health facts about scallops

The scallop is high in protein and it’s very low in fat and cholesterol. Also, the nutrient selenium helps fight cancer. Scallops are also high in Vitamin B12 and iron which boosts your immune system — so eat up! And while it may not be a “cure-all”, try eating them as an appetizer at dinner tonight!

How to store scallops

In general, fresh or live scallops should be stored in a cold, dark place with air circulation. Keep the scallops dry and avoid stacking them since this will cause them to get soggy.

And Live scallops can stay fresh for up to 4 days in their shell if kept refrigerated at under 34ºF and out of direct sunlight. Just make sure to rinse them before storing them.

Once cooked, dried scallops should be stored in an air-tight container and kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. (If you’re not going to use them right away)

If you are storing scallops in a refrigerator then make sure they are left in an airtight container and place them on the top shelf.

But as mentioned earlier eat your scallops within 24 hours of purchasing them, or cook and eat them right away to ensure the best quality.


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