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View Full Version : "DRY" Scallops?



Inedible Hulk
02-14-2014, 12:35 AM
Anyone know what is being put in "dry scallops" these days? Several vendors claim that nothing is added to their scallops. I do have one vendor that admits all scallops have certain levels of chemicals added for various reasons. At upwards of $20/lb you would expect some honest answers. I have noticed that some of the scallops will sear fine for a few days but seem to act like wet scallops after that, as if the chemical added wears out or weakens.

mhlee
02-14-2014, 01:12 AM
Dry scallops aren't supposed to have any chemicals. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if they were put through a brine. However, scallops will become softer and lose their structure as they get older. They will also leach out a lot of liquid as they get older. And by older, I mean just a couple of days after scallops are taken out of the shell. I saw this just this week with scallops I purchased in the shell on Saturday.

Most packaged scallops that are treated are usually treated with sodium tripolyphosphate which is a preservstive and helps scallops retain moisture. Scallops treated with this leach out a milky white liquid. Untreated scallops will leach out a slightly cloudy liquid.

eshua
02-14-2014, 02:08 AM
I'm not sure I follow the term "dry". Dry packed isn't the same as the dried scallops you'd use in XO sauce. Are you referring to something else entirely?

brainsausage
02-14-2014, 02:21 AM
Dry scallops won't be viscous and wet. I live right on the coast of Maine and have experienced both from the same coastal waters. Neither were treated. Just a level of freshness. Not to imply that scallops aren't treated, as they most definitely are. I've purchased them from big box grocery stores in years past, that weren't sourced locally and(to their credit I suppose) mentioned that they were treated. They looked/smelled/felt/tasted different. Fresh scallops sear beautifully, and don't bleed moisture readily. They're plump, and firm. Light brine, creamy palate, with slight tooth. If they start feeling baggy, flesh is peeling, and produce a noticeable fluid- they're less than fresh.

Stumblinman
02-14-2014, 04:36 AM
Do divers sit in the same category ? Please forgive I live in the mountains :)

Salty dog
02-14-2014, 06:36 AM
I was going to say freshness. They're on the down hill if not caramelizing properly.

Dardeau
02-14-2014, 08:53 AM
For fun read the chemical safety data sheet on STSP. Gross.

rogue108
02-14-2014, 02:09 PM
Do divers sit in the same category ? Please forgive I live in the mountains :)

Here is a good explanation from the interwebs

• Wet scallops are shucked on the boat directly into a container filled with cold water, which preserves the scallops for longer. The downside is that the scallops absorb water and plump up, giving them a less pure flavor and a tougher texture. These scallops also tend to be older by the time they get to the seller.

Often a preservative or chemical salt is added to the water to prevent the scallops from spoiling. If this is a concern for you, always ask the fishmonger how the scallops were packed before buying wet scallops.

• Dry scallops are also shucked on the boat, but they go into a dry container with no water or preservatives. Their flavor is more pure and concentrated. They have a shorter shelf-life, but this means that they're fresher when you buy them.

• Diver scallops refer to the method of harvesting. Instead of being dredged, these scallops are harvested by hand by actual divers. This is incredibly labor intensive, but far less damaging to the environment than dredging the ocean floor with nets.

Salty dog
02-14-2014, 02:20 PM
As a rule I don't serve wet scallops. No compromise on this one.

jgraeff
02-14-2014, 07:12 PM
If they are not searing properly and leaching liquid there are a few things to consider. I have had scallops right out of the ocean and living in lf I can tell fresh seafood.

1 freshness obviously as the older they get the more water they release and can't contain their structure

2 if your vendor is sending your fresh products or treated products

3 if they have been frozen. They will leach water like crazy after being frozen. They may be thawed when you get them but it's a good way to tell. We 86d a few vendors for sending is both treated and frozen scallops trying to pass them off.

Inedible Hulk
02-15-2014, 01:22 AM
Just finished Valentine's Day service and just could not help but notice the scallops are still funny. I sear in cast iron and the scallops leave a coating in the pan after cooking. I have been told that some fish mongers brine in a maple derivative, and have seen what that does to a sauté pan. I have been cooking scallops for many years and it just seems that the past few years have had some questionable products on the market. Thanks to everyone for their 2 cents.

jgraeff
02-15-2014, 09:18 AM
Just finished Valentine's Day service and just could not help but notice the scallops are still funny. I sear in cast iron and the scallops leave a coating in the pan after cooking. I have been told that some fish mongers brine in a maple derivative, and have seen what that does to a sauté pan. I have been cooking scallops for many years and it just seems that the past few years have had some questionable products on the market. Thanks to everyone for their 2 cents.

Ya that coating is whatever there treated with.. It's sad our food now days has to have chemicals I just want fresh products not treated food

Erilyn75
02-16-2014, 04:04 AM
How do you dry out frozen scallops? Unfortunately it's the only thing I can get out here but I can't seem to get them dry enough for a nice sear because they always leak out water.

Sorry for the temp hijack Hulk, I thought this would be a good place to ask since it's about scallops ;)

jgraeff
02-16-2014, 09:06 AM
Good question. I'm not sure if you can ever fully dry them but I would let them thaw completely in the fridge in a strainer. Then remove and place on sheet tray lined with towels and if you can put them in front of the fan in the walk in.

Then before service pat dry again and season right before they hit the pan. Salt will help stickpin so I always season heavy on the side that goes down first. I also learned from modernist cuisine to use more oil or fat than you think almost like shallow frying with scallops and to make sure there is space between each do you don't get the steaming effect.