Scallops are a kind of exotic seafood that looks alien but very delicious. Scallops come with a high price tag because of the process by which they are harvested. Scallops are very unique and they come in shells like clams. They are usually found in saltwater and estuaries.
Scallops do not have a long shelf-life. They can’t survive outside water bodies and go bad just within two days of harvesting them. Although scallops are harvested live, you might not be able to find a live scallop to buy. Knowing how to properly handle scallops is essential for keeping them till you are ready to use them. So, how do you go about it?
Can you freeze scallops? Yes, you can. Scallops can be frozen and kept for 2 to 3 months. But for the best results, scallops should be properly hand-picked and handled before freezing to ensure that they come out well.
Most people stay away from Scallops because of the high price tag. But, it can be enjoyed as an occasional special meal. Tasty scallops can be made in your home, it is very simple to make and easy to work with.
How to Freeze Scallops
Scallops fall into the same category as clams and mollusks meaning that they come in shells. But, the scallops you would get to buy most times are already shucked. This means that they have already been removed from their shell. This small piece of meat is delicate and as soon as it is removed from its shell it begins to degrade in quality.
At times, scallops are usually frozen solid when you buy them. So, if you are not going to use them right away you should go ahead and freeze them immediately. If they aren’t, you can ask for a cooler and blocks of ice to keep them safe before you get back home.
Step 1: Picking the Right Scallops
To get the best results from the scallops you are about to freeze, you need to make sure that the scallops you are buying are at least in optimal condition. It would be a disaster if you spend so much money on them, only to find out that they don’t look so good when you get back home.
Here’s how to recognize scallops that are good when you want to buy them. Scallops that are healthy and in good condition would have a white shiny sheen to their skin. There should be no sort of discoloration or browning.
I will advise that you pick nothing but the best place to get your scallops. Look for recommendations and reviews online to avoid buying low-quality scallops.
Step 2: Rinse Your Scallops
Scallops are usually harvested in estuaries (Where saltwater and freshwater meet), along the shoreline. These estuaries are usually polluted.
It might be safe to assume that your vendor already cleaned the scallops while shucking them, but I wouldn’t take any chances. So, give your scallops a good rinse under running water and drain them. Then, leave them to air dry.
Step 3: Storage
Freezing scallops is pretty easy; you don’t have to do much when you want to freeze them. All that matters is that you handle them properly before storage and freezing.
After giving your scallops a good rinse, you can dab them with a paper towel to take away most of the moisture. Then, pack the scallops into a heavy-duty freezer bag.
When packing the scallops, pack them into a single layer and space them out in the bags. Use multiple bags if you have to. Press the bags flat to expel as much air as you can before you seal them, or use a vacuum sealer for the bags if you have one.
Step 4: Freezing
Before you place the bags into the freezer to freeze, label them with their contents and the date of the freeze. This can help you organize a food calendar or meal plan to help you eat your food item before it goes past its shelf life in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Scallops
Thawing frozen scallops is easy, but you shouldn’t let them thaw at room temperature so that they won’t go bad. You can thaw your scallops in the refrigerator overnight prior to the day you want to use it.
If that feels too long for you, you can thaw the scallops in a bowl of cool water for 20 minutes. Just keep an eye on it, and don’t keep it out for too long.
After thawing your scallops, you should eat them immediately. When you want to cook your scallops, you should dab them with a paper towel to take away the moisture so that they can cook properly.
Can You Eat Frozen Scallops Raw?
Yes, you can. Frozen scallops are a delicacy and there are several ways you can enjoy them.
Most people would advise you not to eat them raw because they could contain parasites or bacteria that are harmful to one’s health. Eating scallops raw is not a common thing, but it is enjoyable. Instead of eating your scallops raw, you can sear them instead.
How to Recognize Spoiled Scallops
The best way to recognize spoiled scallops is by their smell. Spoiled scallops will have a sour smell, dull color, and slimy texture. If you notice that your scallops have all of these, then you need to discard them.