Scallops are one of the most favored seafood people love to consume, they are even referred to as the candy of the sea – why? Well, that’s because of their slightly sweet taste and butter-like texture, its fish-like taste isn’t as overpowering as most kinds of seafood are instead its mild sweetness accommodates other spices you may use in your recipe and leaves you with a succulent and delicious meal.
The thing with scallops is how delicate and expensive they are, this is the reason why most home chefs shy away from cooking them and prefer to leave it to the restaurant’s expert chefs but when you know the basics for cooking scallops, from the ingredients you’ll need to the estimated cooking time, cooking scallops wouldn’t be a chore or wouldn’t make you worry about ruining such an expensive meal rather it would be an opportunity to impress people with your excellent cooking skills.
So without wasting much of your time let’s get right into that but first let’s start with some great cooking tips you’ll need for scallops.
Scallops Nutrition Facts
Tips to Note When Cooking Scallops on a Stove
Scallops when done correctly could turn a simple home dinner into a classic restaurant dinner which is why I have compiled some of the best tips for you to use in your recipe, they include;
Buying the right scallops; there are two common types of scallops you might come across in stores, either dry or wet scallops. The wet scallops are the ones that have been soaked in a preservative phosphate solution to make them absorb more water while the dry scallops are beige-colored scallops that have not been soaked in any kind of solution.
The wet scallops have a whitish appearance and due to the soaking in preservatives they taste different, they don’t appear as fresh, they wrinkle when cooked, and don’t brown as much because of the extra liquid content.
It is advisable to buy dry scallops because they are free from any chemical additives, they have a pure flavor, and they tend to brown well.
Prepare everything you’ll need for your recipe before putting your scallops in; scallops are known for their quick-cooking properties (they tend to cook fast) so before adding them to the pan make sure you have every other ingredient ready, your sauce, pasta, salad, etc.
Remember to add your scallops last before serving the meal so they retain their perfect look, taste, and juiciness. Also, don’t forget to remove it from the pan when ready so it wouldn’t continue cooking from the pan’s heat and get tough and chewy.
Buy fresh large sea scallops- there are two versions of scallops which is the bay and sea scallops, te bay scallops are known to have a sweeter taste and a smaller size while the sea scallops are known to have a mild sweetness and a bigger size.
If you’ll be searing your scallops it’s best to buy the sea scallops but if you’ll be making seafood stews or casseroles then it’s best to go for the bay scallops.
Add some flour to your scallops: to get that nice crust and for the scallop’s moisture to reduce, sprinkle some flour on the scallops before cooking them.
Pat your scallops dry with some paper towel; if you’re going to be searing anything it’s best to dry the outer layer with some paper towel so they brown well. So, when searing your scallops, remember to pat them and dry them with paper towels before seasoning them.
Always make sure the pan is hot; the pan has to be heated and sizzling when you add your scallops because this would help it brown well and cook faster, so always make sure the pan is hot enough before adding your scallops.
Spice up your recipe with some additional flavors; adding some butter, garlic, fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, etc or some spicy peppers would help to elevate the overall flavor of your scallops. This tip is optional, you could stick to what works for you but adding one or two of these additional ingredients would make your scallops taste extra appetizing like something that came out of a high-end restaurant, so feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.
Remove the side muscles from the scallops; this tip is optional because even if you choose to leave the side muscle on it wouldn’t harm you, it is just a bit tough and chewy to eat. The side muscle is a little tag found on the side of the scallop.
However, to remove the side muscle use your thumb and first fingers to pinch and pull it away.
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Cooking Time for Scallops on a Stovetop
The time estimated for cooking scallops on a stovetop has been described in the table below.
|Cooking method||Cooking time|
|Cooking scallops on a stove||10 minutes|
- 12 large sea scallops, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of high smoke point oil (olive oil, avocado oil, etc)
- 2 tablespoon flour (use any flour of your choice)
- 1½ tablespoon of butter
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- Large stainless steel skillet
- After cleaning the scallops, pat them dry with some paper towels.
- Season them with some salt and fresh black pepper and coat them thoroughly with some flour.
- Next, take your large skillet and place it over medium-high heat (330-375°F) and add some high smoke point oil.
- When the pan’s hot add your scallops and make sure there is enough room between each of them and leave it for about two minutes, remember not to shake or move them while they are in the pan.
- After 2 minutes of uninterrupted searing, flip the scallop to the other side with a tong or a thin spatula, add some butter with some garlic and let it cook for about a minute to two.
- While it is cooking baste the scallops with the butter and juices in the pan until it starts to brown on the other side.
- After two minutes of basting, remove the scallops from heat and serve with some fresh herbs like basil or squeeze some lemon juice on it. Feel free to use any additional ingredient of your choice.
Making a scallop is incredibly easy just follow these tips and instructions and you’re sure to make a perfect golden-brown scallop each time but if you’d still want more ideas on how to cook a scallop then check out this video recipe