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Ingredient

Bay Scallops

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What is it?

The smaller relative of sea scallops (about 1/2-inch in diameter), bay scallops and are considered to be the sweetest and most succulent. Cape bays, harvested from Long­ Island to Cape Cod, are especially prized. Sold fresh, these bay scallops are a seasonal specialty (available in the fall and early winter), and are generally quite expensive. Less desirable are frozen Chinese bay scallops.

Kitchen math:

1 pound = 50 to 100 bay scallops, depending on size

Don’t have it?

Substitute sea scallops (cut in half or quarters if necessary).

How to choose:

Fresh scallops should appear moist but not milky. Refuse any that have a feathery white surface (a sign of freezer burn) or dried and darkened edges (a sign of age). Always ask to smell scallops before buying. They should smell somewhat briny and seaweedy, but not offensive, sharp, or at all like iodine. Ask the fishmonger for “dry” scallops, which means they have not been treated with a solution to keep them fresh longer. The soaking, though harmless, detracts from a scallop’s natural fresh, briny taste.

How to prep:

Don’t rinse bay scallops; rinsing can dilute flavor.

How to store:

Cook scallops the day you buy them, if possible. If not, store them in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

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