Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

How to buy the best sea scallops

Fine Cooking Issue 23

Ask the fishmonger for “dry” scallops. Freshly harvested scallops are 75% to 79% water, but in the hours, days, and sometimes weeks before scallops reach your kitchen, they begin to dry out and lose moisture. To offset this, commercial fisheries have developed a method of soaking fresh scallops in a solution of salts and water (sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP) to plump the scallops and keep them fresher longer. Unfortunately, not only are you paying for this extra water, but you’re getting an inferior product. The soaking detracts from a scallop’s natural fresh, briny taste, and when you try to sauté a soaked or “wet” scallop, it instantly sheds all its excess water when it hits the hot pan. You wind up steaming your scallops rather than searing them, and the texture of the meat tends to be rubbery.

Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note


Leave a Comment


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.