3 Top Notch Ways to Cook Fresh Scallops
When scallops are prepared right, they are tender and rich like a small filet mignon with a milder taste profile and fewer calories. The key to making perfect scallops is to make sure that they do not dry out. If you cook these little mollusks for too long they can quickly become tough. You want to cook them just enough that they are no longer translucent but still juicy and airy. You should also add a little fat, like oil or butter, so that this lean protein will brown nicely and have a caramelized flavor.
Cooking Scallops 101
No matter what method you use to cook scallops, there are a few simple rules to follow.
Rule #1 – Always use a high-heat method with a little butter or oil. Our favorite methods for cooking scallops are pan seared, broiled and grilled.
Rule #2 – Always rinse them and pat them dry before cooking. You want to remove moisture from the outside so that they brown nicely.
Rule #3 – Always cut large scallops in half so that they can cook all the way through quickly.
Following these three rules is key to making top notch fresh scallops whether they are pan seared, grilled or broiled.
How to Pan Sear Scallops
Use a paper towel to pat the scallops dry. Season them with a dusting of salt and pepper or a light seasoning rub.
Warm a pan to medium high. Add oil.
Once the pan is hot enough that a splash of water evaporates, place the scallops in the pan with a small distance between them.
Sear each side of the scallops until it is lightly brown and opaque, no longer than 90 seconds.
Remove from pan immediately and serve.
How to Grill Scallops
The best way to grill scallops is on a skewer with vegetables and fruits (red onions, bell peppers, cherry/grape tomatoes and pineapple or mango are popular choices).
If you plan to use wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for at least an hour beforehand.
Prepare the scallops by patting them dry and then marinating them in an oil-base marinade for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, remove the scallops.
While the scallops marinate, cut up vegetables and fruit for the skewers.
Spear the scallops and other ingredients on the skewers, alternating between them.
Set the grill to medium high.
Place the scallop skewers on the grill (preferably on a lightly greased rack). Cook for 2 -3 minutes on each side until the scallops look white instead of translucent.
How to Broil Scallops
Preheat the broiler.
Pat the scallops dry. Then coat with a light dusting of butter or oil. Add salt, pepper and a dash of paprika or other seasonings to taste.
Lightly grease a broiler pan and place scallops on it. (You could also make up skewers and place them in the broiler pan.)
When you place the pan in the broiler, make sure there is about 4 inches between the broil and the pan.
Cook for 3 -5 minutes on each side. Brushing with melted-butter or oil in between.
You can make restaurant quality scallops by following these simple steps. Stop by our seafood counter to pick up fresh scallops to make tonight!
Let us know in the comments which method you prefer. If you’re looking for recipes, check out our Pinterest!