Sweet, juicy scallops are a New England favorite that should always be cooked with love and care. Our scallops in particular are locally-sourced and processed in our state-of-the-art facility, meaning you’re getting truly fresh, sustainable seafood.

But how to prepare scallops? This versatile mollusk can be baked, fried, and pan-seared, meaning you’ll be able to create a tasty feast in so many different ways. If you’re new to cooking scallops, or wish to expand your palate, here are a few tips on how to cook them to perfection.

Brine Your Scallops

This is an extremely simple trick that will give your scallops both better flavor and sear. Just let your scallops sit in a solution of salt water for ten minutes. You can also add a little lemon juice for more flavor. After that, simply take them out, pat the scallops dry, then pan-sear them.

Brining scallops is actually a great way to flavor the inside of your scallops, not just the outside. After all, if you merely add seasoning to your scallops right before cooking, often only the outside of the meat retains the flavor. Brining can also make firmer scallops more tender.

Use the Right Pan for Searing

Pan-searing is perhaps the most popular method for cooking scallops, as it really showcases the flavor and texture of the meat. But while you might be tempted to use a non-stick pan, don’t. Non-stick pans are great for something like an omelet, but for a scallop, you actually want them to stick to the surface of the pan. That’s how they get that gorgeous crust through the Maillard reaction.

Instead, use a stainless steel, cast iron, or copper skillet. You’ll also want it to be as large as possible, as you’ll want the scallops to be far apart as they cook. If the scallops are touching, they risk steaming instead of searing, which won’t get you that desired crust and texture.

scallop salad

Baking Scallops is Delicious and Easy

While pan-searing is understandably popular, don’t underestimate just how good baked scallops can be. Legal Seafood is famous for their baked scallops, but you don’t have to be a trained chef to make them. There are copycat recipes out there that are accessible to anyone, and just as good as what you’d order off a menu.

The Color Tells You If They’re Done

Overcooked scallops are a tragedy. Once the liquid has been totally cooked out of them, they turn chewy and rubbery, which is nothing short of unpleasant. That’s why you need to pay close attention to your scallops as you cook them.

Thankfully, scallops give clear signs that they’re done when you pan-fry or bake them, and it all has to do with the color. When they’re cooked perfectly, they’ll be opaque throughout with a golden-brown crust. Undercooked scallops have a milky white coloring, so just watch them until they’re golden, then get them out immediately. As for fried scallops, you’ll have to just watch the time and the color of the batter.

Scallops are delicious and an absolute crowd-pleaser. Make them for lunch or dinner and experience a sweet, tasty dish that’s easier than you think to make.