Fresh Scallops 101: Tips, Recipes & Buying Guide


Hey there, seafood enthusiasts! Are you ready to dive into the delicious world of fresh scallops? These delectable shellfish are known for their buttery sweetness and unique flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned scallop lover or new to the seafood scene, this buying guide and tips will help you make the most of your scallop experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn about the different types of scallops, such as sea scallops and bay scallops.
  • Discover how to properly clean and store fresh scallops for the best flavor and texture.
  • Find out why it’s important to look for dry-packed scallops when buying them.
  • Explore various cooking methods, from pan-searing to baking, and discover delicious scallop recipes.
  • Understand the nutritional benefits of scallops and their sustainability as a seafood choice.

Different Types of Scallops

When it comes to scallops, there are several distinct varieties to explore. In North Atlantic waters, sea scallops and bay scallops are the most commonly found types. Each type has its own unique characteristics and culinary uses.

Sea Scallops: Sea scallops are known for their larger size, reaching up to eight inches in diameter. These meaty scallops are harvested further offshore and are highly versatile in cooking. Some popular methods of preparing sea scallops include grilling, searing, or even incorporating them into stir-fries or pasta dishes. Their substantial size and tender texture make them a favorite among seafood enthusiasts.

Bay Scallops: On the other hand, bay scallops are smaller in size, typically measuring around three inches in diameter. They can be found in shallow coastal waters and are known for their delicate flavor. Bay scallops are often more expensive due to their limited availability. Due to their smaller size, they are ideal for dishes that require a more subtle presence, such as seafood stews, ceviche, or salads.

Calico Scallops: In addition to sea scallops and bay scallops, there is also a variety known as calico scallops. Calico scallops are smaller and feature a darker coloration. While less common, they possess a unique flavor profile that can add depth to various dishes. Due to their size, they are often used as a garnish or incorporated into seafood medleys or pasta dishes to provide visual appeal and an extra burst of flavor.

Understanding the different types of scallops allows you to choose the best variety for your preferred cooking methods and flavor profiles. Whether you opt for the meaty sea scallops, delicate bay scallops, or the distinctive calico scallops, you’ll be in for a delectable seafood experience.

Scallop Size Comparison

Scallop Type Size
Sea Scallops Up to 8 inches in diameter
Bay Scallops Around 3 inches in diameter
Calico Scallops Smaller than sea scallops and bay scallops

Explore the intricate flavors and diverse culinary possibilities of different scallop varieties. Whether you’re preparing a gourmet meal or simply enjoying the taste of the sea, sea scallops, bay scallops, and calico scallops are sure to elevate your dining experience.

Tips for Buying and Cooking Scallops

When it comes to buying and cooking scallops, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to ensure a delicious and satisfying culinary experience. Whether you prefer to buy scallops online or visit your local seafood market, it’s essential to choose reputable sources that offer the freshest options. Look for dry-packed scallops, which are not soaked in a sodium solution, allowing them to retain their natural flavor and texture.

Now that you’ve got your hands on some fresh scallops, it’s time to dive into the world of cooking these delectable shellfish. There are various cooking methods to explore, each bringing out unique flavors and textures in the scallops. Here are a few popular techniques:

Pan-Seared Scallops

One of the simplest yet most flavorful ways to cook scallops is by pan-searing them. Heat up a pan with a bit of oil or butter and cook the scallops for a few minutes on each side until they develop a golden crust. Add some minced garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra burst of flavor.

Grilled Scallops

If you’re in the mood for some smoky and charred goodness, grilling scallops is a fantastic option. Wrap each scallop in a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick before placing them on a hot grill. Cook for a few minutes on each side until the bacon is crispy and the scallops are tender.

Baked Scallops

For a more hands-off approach, try baking scallops in a flavorful sauce. Prepare a mixture of white wine, breadcrumbs, herbs, and spices. Place the scallops in a baking dish and pour the sauce over them. Bake in the oven until the scallops are cooked through and the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown.

Now that you know some popular cooking methods, it’s time to explore the world of scallop recipes. From classic dishes like Coquilles St. Jacques to creative creations like scallop ceviche, there’s something to suit every taste bud. Experiment with different ingredients, flavors, and cooking techniques to discover your favorite way of enjoying these succulent shellfish.

buy scallops online

Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or a novice in the kitchen, these tips for buying and cooking scallops will help you create delicious dishes that will impress your family and friends. So go ahead, buy scallops online or visit your local market, and embark on a culinary journey with these versatile and delectable shellfish. Happy cooking!


Scallops are not only a delicious seafood choice, but they also offer numerous health benefits. With a low calorie count and high protein content, they make for a nutritious addition to any meal. Additionally, scallops are considered a sustainable seafood option, thanks to their unique anatomy that makes them less vulnerable to toxins and contaminants.

When it comes to enjoying scallops, the options are endless. Classic dishes like Coquilles St. Jacques showcase their delicate flavor and texture, while more contemporary recipes offer exciting twists and flavor combinations. Whether you prefer pan-seared scallops with a hint of lemon or grilled scallops wrapped in bacon, there’s a dish to suit every palate.

Mastering the art of preparing fresh scallops at home is completely within reach. By following proper cleaning and cooking techniques, anyone can create restaurant-quality scallop dishes in the comfort of their own kitchen. So, dive into the world of scallops and discover the joy of savoring these delectable shellfish.


What are scallops?

Scallops are a popular and delicious seafood choice with a buttery sweetness and unique characteristics. They have a rich history and are often associated with pilgrimage and ancient artwork.

What are the different types of scallops?

The two most prevalent types of scallops found in North Atlantic waters are sea scallops and bay scallops. Sea scallops are larger and can grow up to eight inches in diameter, while bay scallops are smaller, reaching about three inches. There is also a variety of calico scallops, which are smaller and darker in color.

How should I buy and cook scallops?

When buying scallops, it is best to purchase them from reputable sources, such as seafood markets or online suppliers. Look for dry-packed scallops, as they are not soaked in a sodium solution and maintain their natural flavor and texture. Scallops can be cooked in various ways, such as pan-searing with butter and garlic, grilling with bacon wraps, or baking in a sauce with wine and breadcrumbs. There are numerous scallop recipes available, offering a range of flavors and cooking techniques to suit different palates.

Are scallops a sustainable seafood choice?

Yes, scallops are considered a sustainable seafood choice. They are not vulnerable to toxins or contaminants due to their unique anatomy. They are also low in calories and high in protein, making them a nutritious option.

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