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Sep 18, 2005 11:11 PM

flash-frozen scallops - novice needs help

  • j

My local farmer's market has flash-frozen scallops. I've never cooked scallops before, but I love to eat them. How would I go about safely defrosting these, and then what should I do with them? I've heard of dusting with flour and pan searing. If I did this, how hot a heat and should I oil the pan? They have both small and larger scallops.

Any other suggestions? Please be quite specific, as I've never cooked these before. Thanks.

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  1. Very hot pan...don't overcook. Just sear. I prefer medium to large, since the small bay scallops often taste like pencil erasers.

    1. p
      Professor Salt

      I will add that thoroughly pat-drying the critters is important to getting a brown, caramelized crust. You can use flour to acheive browning too, but it can be done without flour as long as you're careful to remove all surface moisture before they hit the pan.

      Jim H rightly said to use a hot pan. Leave the scallops alone while they're getting brown, flip once and repeat on side two.


      1 Reply
      1. re: Professor Salt

        Very hot pan=cast iron only, heated to smoking point (10 minutes). Make sure the scallops are "dry" (no water pump), or the water will come out and you'll have boiled scallops. I add a dash of oil with the scallops, and season with salt and pepper.

      2. I cook these frequently and agree with what's been posted. Allowing to defrost and then patted dry is a MUST.

        Have not used flour to sear; just a small bit of oil in a fairly hot pan (mine is Calphalon, not cast iron) and cook til they no longer look opaque about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. Turn and repeat.

        Since I like my foods spicy, I season with a dash of Black and Red (Penzy's).

        1. Yes to all prior.


          You all forgot to mention the removal of the small side mussel and a quick pan sauce made in the sauté pan after the scallops are cooked.


          1. I agree with the other posters but have a finish touch for you to add favor to your scallops.

            Cook slices of bacon half way so the it still flexable and can be wrap around the scallop.

            After defrosting and drying the scallops wrap the scallop around the side's with the bacon and hold in place with a toothpick.

            Then cook in a very hot pan until 1/3 cooked and flip over and repeat the process. Do not overcooked.

            After you have cooked all you scallops you can add a little minced shallots, gralic, a little seafood (chicken if do not have seafood) stock and some sherrry to deglaze the pan and this will make a great sauce to top each scallop. Just a small touch to top the scallops.