Find Out what are scallops, Different Types and Best Recipes
The food type with the highest worldwide trade volume is seafood. If you love seafood, scallops will definitely impress you. Just a few scallops on a platter may transform dinnertime into a feast, whether they are enormous sea scallops or little bay scallops. If you are wondering what are scallops, this write-up will assist you know that along with different types and best recipes.
What Are Scallops?
So, what are scallops? Bivalve mollusks called scallops live in the sea in their own shells. Scallops belong to the same family as mussels, clams, and oysters. Because of their flavour, texture, and adaptability, they are among the most often consumed seafood selections. Scallops have an orange region within the shell called the coral, as well as a white adductor muscle (the part we eat) that opens and closes the shell.
When cooked, the muscle is rounded and tender with a hint of sweetness and salty saltiness. They are a standard in upscale seafood establishments and a delectable choice for anyone seeking a high-protein shellfish dish.
Different Types of Scallops
Now that you know what are scallops, let’s have a look at different types of it:
- Bay Scallops: These small scallops are around 1-2 inches in size and have a sweet, delicate flavour. They are sustainably farmed and harvested mostly on the East Coast of the U.S. Bay scallops work well for sautéing, frying, or eating raw.
- Sea Scallops: Sea scallops are the largest variety, reaching up to 2 inches across. They are wild-caught in the oceans along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Sea scallops have a briny, robust flavor that stands up well to grilling, broiling, or searing.
- Weathervane Scallops: Native to the Pacific Northwest, weathervane scallops are mid-sized at 1-1.5 inches across. They have a firmer texture and tangier flavor than bay or sea scallops.
- Diver Scallops: Diver scallops are sea scallops that are harvested by hand by scuba divers. This labor-intensive method results in premium scallops that never touch the ocean floor. Diver scallops are the highest quality and have a delicate, sweet flavour.
- Calico Scallops: Often sold as cheaper bay scallops, calico scallops are small, irregularly shaped scallops fished along the Southeast Atlantic coast. They have a tougher, less sweet flavor.
- Royal Red Shrimp: Though named a shrimp, royal reds are technically a scallop species. They have a soft, succulent texture and a mild sweet flavour. Royal reds work well for sushi, salads, and pasta dishes.
- Scallop Roe: If you want to know what are scallops that are coral-coloured, you should know that roe (eggs) of scallops is considered an important type. Scallop roe has a delicate flavour and soft texture.
How To Cook Scallops?
When cooked properly, their sweet flavour and delicate texture really shine. Here are three of the best scallop recipes to try at home:
1. Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce
If you want to know what are scallops and how to cook them with lemon butter sauce, this classic preparation will help you. The high heat of a cast iron skillet or grill pan gives you that coveted golden brown crust while keeping the interior tender. Fresh lemon brightens up the buttery pan sauce.
- To make it, pat dry fresh sea scallops and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat up a skillet with vegetable oil over high heat.
- When the oil is shimmering, add the scallops in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd them.
- Let them sear for 2-3 minutes per side until nicely browned.
- Remove them from the pan and make a quick lemon butter sauce by sautéing shallots, deglazing with white wine, and whisking in lemon juice and cold butter.
- Pour the sauce over the seared scallops to serve.
2. Bacon Wrapped Scallops
The combination of salty, smoky bacon with sweet scallops is always a hit. The bacon helps keep the scallops extra moist while providing fantastic flavor. Grilled, baked, or broiled – bacon wrapped scallops are easy to make and satisfy every time.
- Start by wrapping each dry scallop in a slice of bacon.
- Secure with a toothpick if needed. Place them on a baking sheet and broil for 5-8 minutes until the bacon is crisp.
- You can also thread them onto skewers and grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, for the same amount of time.
- Bake them in a 400°F oven for about 15 minutes.
3. Creamy Baked Scallops with Breadcrumbs
For this recipe, the scallops get nestled into a creamy cheese and wine sauce then topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. As it bakes, you get a beautifully browned topping over tender, buttery scallops.
- First make the sauce by sautéing minced garlic in butter, stirring in cream cheese and white wine, and seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Arrange the scallops in a baking dish and pour the sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle fresh breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes until hot and bubbling.
- For extra flair, add minced parsley or grated Parmesan to the breadcrumb mixture.
4.Pan-Seared Scallops with Orange Gremolata
Pan-searing is one of the quickest and tastiest ways to cook scallops. The high heat of the pan gives you a crisp golden crust while keeping the interior tender and juicy.
- Pat the scallops completely dry with paper towels and season them generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Over moderate, you need to add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and wait for two to three minutes.
- Flip the scallops and sear another 2 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
- While the scallops cook, make the gremolata. In a small bowl, stir together the minced parsley, garlic, orange zest, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Plate the seared scallops and spoon the gremolata over the top.
This shall clear your doubts on what are scallops. You can transfer frozen scallops to a Ziploc bag to prevent freezer burn while storing. Scallops that have been repackaged should never be kept on the freezer door; instead, place them in the freezer’s coldest section.