For those who
are queasy about the
appearance of certain
and lobster) and
mollusks (oysters and
mussels), the scallop
has a more welcoming
appearance both with
its brightly colored fan-
shaped shell and the
white and round
inside. The tender
fleshy texture and ocean fresh sweet flavor of these fresh mollusks are often
enjoyed even by those not particularly fond of seafood.
The Atlantic sea scallop caught off the waters of the northeastern United
States and eastern Canada makes up a significant percentage of the catch of
this bivalve. The remainder of the world production is divided among Japan and
China which produce both wild and cultivated scallops. Wild caught scallops
are predominantly gathered using dredges or bottom trawls though some
countries still employ manual harvesting methods, hand caught by divers from
the ocean floor.
Environmentalists are more accommodating towards this more eco-
friendly way of gathering because dredges can damage underwater
ecosystems by destroying coral formations and catching other marine life not to
mention immature scallops not yet ready for consumption. Rampant
unmonitored harvesting could deplete future production of this widely popular
and sought after seafood.
Scallops possess two types of meat namely the adductor muscle which is
the white, firm and meaty portion, and the soft white or red “roe”, also called the
"coral". Markets usually sell them with the adductor muscle still intact in the
shell. This is a more prized ingredient and is carefully prepared oftentimes
using the shell in the presentation. For mass production and export, scallops
can be frozen without any additives or treated with chemical salts that enable
them to absorb moisture prior to the freezing (thereby getting a better price per
For raw dishes like ceviche and sushi, it is highly recommended to go for
fresh. Same goes for salad dishes and grills. Dried salted scallop called
conpoy is widely used in Cantonese cookery and is a main ingredient in X.O.
garlic, onions and oil. It is
a great flavoring for
vegetable, meat and fresh
seafood dishes. When using this sauce which is savory, sweet, salty and spicy
all at the same time, go easy on the salt.
For western dishes, these are used in a wide variety of applications from
soups to appetizers to entrees. In countries with no coastline that have to rely
on its importation, these can be a pricey menu item and are often prepared with
extra care and gourmet ingredients.
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