Spotlight on Scallops

Did you know that a scallop is the only bivalve that swims?

Indeed, its flesh is almost entirely one tender muscle, which is why it’s such a favorite to eat.

To find out more interesting info on scallops, including how to choose the best ones, pick up a copy of the March issue of Coastal Living magazine for my story all about scallops.

You’ll also find my recipe for “Curry-Citrus Cauliflower Soup with Seared Scallops and Crispy Shallots,” as well as another for “Scallop Skillet with Bacon, Edamame, Basil, and Creamy Grits” by contributor, David Bonom.

I also sweet-talked two Bay Area chefs into sharing their favorite recipes: “Scallop Crudo” by Staffan Terje, chef-owner of Perbacco Ristorante and Bar in San Francisco; and “Sea Scallops Adobo” (pictured above) by Emmanuel Santos, executive chef of Bistro Luneta in San Mateo.

More Scallop Recipes: Ad Hoc’s Caramelized Sea Scallops

More: Baked Scallops with Porcini Butter

More: Manhattan Bay Scallop Chowder with Fennel

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  • When testing recipes, Carolyn, did you try Safeway’s frozen house brand? I did recently and loved their texture and flavor. I also loved the convenience of having a frozen item for last-minute meals.

  • I’ll have to look for this magazine. Both of those recipes sound amazing and so unusual!

  • Sophia: Oh, have not tried the Safeway brand. Thanks for the recommendation on that. I have used Trader Joe’s frozen Japanese scallops and thought they were quite good. When I made the scallop crudo, though, I bought the biggest sea scallops I could find at one of my fave seafood stores, Race Street Seafood in San Jose.

  • Magnificent recipes! Scallops are so versatile!



  • Goodness what a gorgeous blog you have!!!! WOW! I’m new here 🙂 We eat tons of scallops partially due to their outstanding flavor and also due to the fact that you can store nice frozen ones 😀

  • I love scallops but have never cooked it myself. The scallop dishes here look very delicious. I have to try one of these days. Thanks for sharing.

  • Scallop + searing. Enuf said. Mmmm.

  • Scallops are a big favorite of mine. Sounds like a delicious story!

  • Sweet, tender scallops. They are a treat, whether its baby scallops or the jumbo sized variety. You can do almost anything with them, and the idea of pairing them with grits is perfect.

  • Oh, excellent, now I know an expert! I wonder if you or any of your erudite fans might know the answer to this question:

    I read in the Costco newsletter that they sell only “dry” scallops, meaning ones not soaked in STP (sodium tripolyphosphate).

    What it does not say clearly is whether that applies to all their scallops, frozen and fresh. I think it does but want to make sure.

    STP treated scallops are truly awful, with a metallic taste. Once you have been made aware of it, you can’t eat an STP’d scallop again. Sadly, STP is standard industry practice because it makes them plumper and wetter — and heavier so they cn charge you for more water. In addition to the taste, they won’t brown well when they sear because they spew water.

    > re: Did you know that a scallop is the only bivalve that swims?

    I did not. How interesting! Thanks, FoodGal!

  • I just had a frightful shock when I saw a Sophia as the first commenter….I know this is the first time I’m reading this post! Haha, hello, fellow Sophia.

    Anyway. I did not know that scallops swim. I thought they were just plump muscles ready to be “swimming” in my tummy.

  • Thanks for the heads-up on the article at Coastal Living.

    I actually like scallops better than lobster (given that I get really fresh scallops)

  • Caroline>I love those closeups… I can never get those scallops to brown.. I fear too many scallops are treated and have a very unpleasant flavor and texture, shame on them. Diver’s scallops cost a fortune but are so delicious… thanks for the note on Costco!

  • I love scallops so cannot wait to try these tasty recipes, they both sound wonderful. Look forward to seeing you on Friday!

  • Just changed my profile name so that the other Sophia doesn’t have to worry that she posted and then forgot! 🙂 It’s always nice to meet a fellow Sophia

  • Deana: Yes, look for dry-packed scallops. Also, pat the scallops with a paper towel before you cook then. Lastly, saute them in a stainless-steel pan with butter or oil. Don’t use a Teflon pan, which won’t ever give you that golden sear you’re looking for.

  • Carolyn,
    I don’t know if bay scallops are available out there (I didn’t see them when I lived in Sacramento) but I think they’re sweeter and more tender than sea scallops. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that could also be made with quartered sea scallops:

  • Scallops are our all-time favorite! Especially my hubby’s. But now we don’t have them too often at home because my daughter is actually allergic to them (and not to any other shellfish).

  • Wooo….TJ’s Japanese scallops are good. When I need jumbos, I get them from Costco. Pan-searing scallops is one of the best ways to get that natural flavors out and I’ll used that remaining “essence” in the pan to cook something else. NO wastage! 😀 …hmmmm….where can I get coastalliving mag. over here…bummer!

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  • Published in Coastal Living? Congratulations! Just had an amazing Irish sea scallop at Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons in Dublin. It had an apple vanilla butter that was just decadent.

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