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Aug 29, 2013 07:11 AM

Costco Scallops

I just made these last night, and I noticed that before cooking them I had them in a colander in the fridge which was set in a bowl. There was a lot of milky white liquid which came out of them. I dried them well with paper towels and they seared just fine, but after they were transferred to a plate, there was more liquid that came out of them.

I was under the impression that Costco scallops were dry (according to the magazine article below), but every time I cook them I have this white liquid issue. Has anyone else had this experience?

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  1. The scallops were soaked/brined. I'm a long time Costco member and advocate, but they were not dry scallops.

    5 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      See that ticks me off. I just emailed them to ask about it. This has happened with every bag I've bought from there. In the thawing process they excrete the milky liquid, then they do ok in the pan, but after moving them off the heat there's more liquid.

      I know the article was written in 2008 so I guess it's possible they've switched to selling treated scallops. At first I thought it was because I soaked them in water to thaw them, but I haven't done that each time. There were times I thawed them in the colander in the fridge and still got the liquid.

      I guess I'll await their reply.

      1. re: AnnieWilliams

        I stopped buying Costco scallops for that same reason. Let us know if you ever hear back.

        1. re: thimes

          I will. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person with this problem.

        2. re: AnnieWilliams

          I'm not necessarily a scallop expert, but i suspect that any scallop that is frozen will weep when thawed for the same reason that a frozen steak does -- ice crystals formed during the freezing process rupture some of the cell walls, releasing moisture when thawed. Same reason that a perfectly ripe strawberry turns to mush when frozen & thawed. Quick freezing way below 0 F mitigates the process a bit, but it still occurs.

          1. re: rjbh20

            That's what I was wondering about. Do they have natural juices of their own? I thought maybe that's what I was seeing. There was no white liquid in the skillet.

      2. If they were treated it would say so on the bag, right?

        1 Reply
        1. re: C. Hamster

          I have triple checked my bag and it says nothing about them being treated. I have seen some cheaper seafood at discount stores and it does say so on the bag. But I'm not sure if they are required by law to put that on the packaging.

        2. if you're buying frozen or previously frozen it's very unlikely they are dry.

          3 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Well I hope they reply because I would be shocked if they are wet, especially considering that extensive magazine article from 2008.

            1. re: AnnieWilliams

              regardless of what the article says, or what any future email might say, you got we scallops.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                erg, sorry. "wet" scallops.

                it's extremely rare for "dry" scallops to be "wasted" and frozen. i live in new england, scallop capitol of the world, and would not pay a penny for frozen scallops. if you do not share my geographical fortune, buyer beware.

          2. Frozen scallops will always exude moisture when thawed. Freezing them breaks the cells of the scallop, and the moisture freezes. when you thaw them, the moisture drips out.

            I always buy the fresh scallops from the seafood counter and they are dry scallops. I can sear them with no issues.

            2 Replies
            1. re: boogiebaby

              After you cook them, do you get a lot of milky white liquid on the plate? Or at least some?

              1. re: AnnieWilliams

                Dry scallops will exude almost no liquid when cooked...

            2. Found this thread when I was looking for an answer to the same question: wet or dry? I usually buy dry scallops from my fishmonger, but succumbed to a package of Costco frozen scallops and wanted to know what I was dealing with. I came across a very interesting article in The Boston Globe ( ) that says that when scallops are harvested, they contain about 75% water. That’s A LOT of water. It also says that if there are any additives other than water, FDA regulations require that they be listed on the package.

              The frozen scallops didn’t exude a huge amount of water when I thawed them, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to follow Cook’s Illustrated recommendations for dealing with wet scallops anyway. They call for soaking the scallops in a solution of 1 quart of water with 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 2 tablespoon of salt for 30 minutes. They also recommend that whether the scallops are wet or dry, that they be placed on a baking sheet between two kitchen towels and pressed gently to blot up moisture. They’re then rested for 10 minutes while the towels continue to absorb moisture. When you season them for cooking if they’ve been soaked, don't add extra salt.

              I’m still not sure whether my scallops were wet or dry, but this took care of whatever excess moisture they may have contained and the soaking masked the flavor of any chemical additives, if indeed there were even any there in the first place, which I doubt since none were listed on the label. This procedure seemed to do the trick since my Costco scallops reacted in the pan just as do the dry scallops that I buy, with no liquid, either white or clear, released from them either in the pan or on the plate.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JoanN

                I'd be more inclined to save the released liquid for sauce because I love the flavor and could use it. But I'd only expect so much from Costco scallops, they're not that cheap, so I'd expect good quality.