How to cook scallops to get that perfect golden sear
March 29, 2021, 11:02 am
Eating a scallop with that perfect golden sear is a thing of beauty. But there often is a perception that it can’t possibly be done at home — and there’s nothing worse than a pale, rubbery scallop.
Yet scallops are actually easier and faster to make than most seafood. You just have to know a few quick tips to make them practically foolproof.
How to buy the right scallops
Cooking a scallop perfectly starts with buying the right scallops. The most important word to look for is "dry." If they aren’t specifically labeled as dry scallops, you should avoid purchasing them. Many scallops on the market are what are known as "wet scallops." In order to make them last longer (read: to sell them to you less fresh), they are treated at sea with a preservative solution and often frozen. The solution, made of water and phosphates, does prevent the scallops from going bad quickly but also changes the flavor, texture and weight. So, while you might think you are getting cheaper scallops when you buy wet, a lot of the weight you are paying for is actually just water — and that water also releases while you are cooking, which not only prevents your scallops from searing but also shrinks them in the process.
So, whatever you do, make sure you are purchasing dry scallops.