August 15, 2017

What Do Scallops Taste Like? The Answer Will Surprise You

What Do Scallops Taste Like

Are you a seafood enthusiast? You may have tried cod, salmon, oyster, lobster, shrimp, squid, and octopus -- the common seafood we can purchase on markets and restaurants.

But have you ever tried the “candy of the sea”? The scallop? Even if you haven’t tried scallops or you’re simply not fond of seafood, the buttery chunks of bivalve goodness is to die for!

I’m here to tell you my experiences with scallops and try to explain what do scallops taste like for those eager to know it. Perhaps after reading this article, you’ll be rushing to the nearest seaport to buy these heavenly goodness in big batches!

More...

WHAT ARE SCALLOPS?

What Do Scallops Taste Like

Scallops are mollusks that look small, squishy white frisbees when they’re cooked. In its original form, it’s protected by shells. Have you watched the little mermaid? Ariel, the lead mermaid, uses scallop shells as a top underwear.

Scallops are ubiquitous in nature, meaning they can be found everywhere. They can grow up to 9 inches in size. The part that we eat in a single scallop is just the adductor muscle.

Any shellfish takes time to break down but don’t worry about it, all you need to know from opening a scallop to extracting the adductor muscle, the edible part, are contained in the video below.

SCALLOP VARIETIES

Here are three varieties of scallops:

Sea scallops are largest type, often measuring 2 inches in diameter. They’re the most common type in the market and they’re available all year long.

What Do Scallops Taste Like

Sea scallops

Bay scallops are available from October to March only because they migrate from April to September. These scallops are the smallest but they’re the sweetest variant.

What Do Scallops Taste Like

Bay scallops

Calico scallops are available from December to May and are typically found in the US Gulf and Southern Atlantic coasts.

What Do Scallops Taste Like

Atlantic calico scallop on Sanibel Island, Florida, USA

While calico scallops are similar in appearance (shiny, creamy white) with the other scallop varieties, its shells, on the other hand, are perfectly and tightly sealed, which means it takes every bit of muscle to open and reach the meat.

HOW TO CHOOSE FRESH SCALLOPS

  • Fresh scallops hold it’s shape and are plump in appearance
  • Pick freshly caught scallops for the best quality. If you can’t find any fresh scallops, dry-packed ones are your best bet.
  • Do not buy scallops that have turned bright, matte white in color! It should be shiny and creamy white.
  • If you happen to find scallops sporting an orange or pink tint, you’re lucky because those colors are a manifestation that scallops are healthy and nutritious.
What Do Scallops Taste Like

THE BEST INGREDIENTS TO COOK SCALLOPS WITH

These following ingredients, in my opinion, are the common ones that pairs well with scallops. It includes:

  • Butter adds a creamy richness to many seafood dishes, especially scallops. Here is a video guide on how to cook scallops in butter.
  • Garlic, when used in small amounts, gives a lovely earthy taste to the dish. Try this video seared scallops on garlic rum sauce.
  • For that acidic jolt, you may season scallops with fresh lemon juice. Apply little amounts though, be careful not to overpower the scallop’s unique flavor.
  • To bring out a new dimension of taste, you may put white wine when cooking scallops. Not sure how to cook with wine? This video will surely be of great help with regards to cooking with white wine.
  • Bacon. Who are we kidding? Bacon goes well with everything! Bacon is a way of life. The saltiness and smokiness of bacon complements the subtle, delicate flavor of the scallops
  • Are you familiar with the “surf and turf”? It’s a dish that combines seafood and meat in one plate. If you’re not familiar with it, you’re missing out man! It’s great with any seafood, especially scallops. Watch this video to find out.

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON COOKING GRILLED & DEEP-FRIED SCALLOPS

There is nothing like cooking outdoors. Fresh air, charcoal grill, a plate full of food waiting to be burned, and a bottle of Ale to wash down your thirst! Mmmmm, that’s a good life right there.

Grilled Scallops Recipe

What Do Scallops Taste Like

Scallops are great for grilling, as long as you’re careful not to overcook them. When we grill our scallops, we usually skewer it along with other ingredients such as veggies and fruits. Check out my take on grilled scallops in the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • Scallops (1 to 3 pounds)
  • 5 tbsp of Olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 5 to 10 pieces medium sized skewers
  • 100 grams red bell pepper, sliced into squares
  • 100 grams green bell pepper, sliced into squares
  • 50 grams pineapple chunks (either fresh or canned)

Procedure:

  • Rinse the scallops thoroughly in running water to remove any dirt from the shells. Pat dry in a paper towel.
  • In a large bowl, coat the scallops, green, and red bell pepper with olive oil then season with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
  • Skewer the green bell pepper first, followed by red bell pepper, then scallops, and lastly, pineapple chunks. Repeat this process until every single scallop has been used.
  • On a blazing hot charcoal grill, cook the scallops for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
  • Squeeze lemon juice on each skewer to add a zesty taste.
  • Immediately serve to avoid over cooking the scallops.

Deep-Fried Scallops Recipe

What Do Scallops Taste Like

Furthermore, you can deep fry anything! And scallops are no exception. A batter mixture of egg, flour, salt, and breadcrumbs can make a humble scallop into a crisp, golden treat to enjoy.

Forget that fish and chips - try scallops and chips instead! Check out my version of deep-fried scallops:

Ingredients:

  • Scallops (1 to 3 pounds)
  • 500 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 eggs (Beaten)
  • 300 g Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 lemon wedges
  • Dipping sauce- Tartar sauce or red cocktail sauce
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2 ⅛ tsp ground pepper

Procedure:

  • Rinse the scallops thoroughly in running water to remove any dirt from the shells. Pat dry in a paper towel.
  • Heat the pan until smoke appears and carefully pour the oil. Lower the temperature to avoid discoloration of oil.
  • Beat egg, ⅛ tsp of salt, and ⅛ tsp of ground pepper together until well combined.
  • In a round plate, mix salt and pepper with the panko bread crumbs and spread out the coating.
  • To check if the oil is ready, place a small amount of coating in the hot oil. When tiny bubbles appear on the sides of the coating, it’s ready to cook. Alternatively, you may use an oil thermometer and wait for the oil’s temperature to reach 350 degrees.
  • Coat the scallops with the egg mixture first and then the breadcrumbs. Do you want it to be crispier? Again, coat it in the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Place each piece on a plate.
  • Carefully put the scallops in the hot oil one by one to avoid splatters.
  • It should be cooked golden brown in 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve the scallops with the dipping sauce of your choice on the side.

SO, WHAT DO SCALLOPS TASTE LIKE, EXACTLY?

Scallops are similar to crab or lobster taste-wise but they have a firmer texture. The flavor tends to be sweet, buttery, and delicate. When cooked correctly, you may experience and enjoy the best seafood flavor in the world (I’m obviously a scallop fanatic)!

What Do Scallops Taste Like

However, over cooking the scallops cause it to lose its buttery taste and delicate texture. Worse, it somewhat turns into tough rubber. If you haven’t tried cooking with scallops, do watch this two part video of Chef Gordon Ramsay cooking the perfect scallops.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Did you find this article useful? Have you had any experience with eating scallops? If you can recommend other scallop recipes, feel free to comment below. Don’t forget to share this post. Take care!

    Jade Evans

    Hi there, I’m Jade, a person passionate about cooking and all things food-related. My kitchen inspirations were my mother and grandmother who have always regarded cooking as an art. As a mother of two daughters, I find it hard to keep up with my cooking sometimes, so I sought the help of other food bloggers to curate fantastic and hearty dishes for you, my readers. This blog chronicles my food ventures, original recipes, and cooking tips to inspire and ignite the inner foodie in you.

    Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

    Leave a Reply: