The unique taste of scallops is thanks to their umami flavor. It’s amazing how something so small can contain such complexity – they’re light and rich, soft and buttery, and some would even say nutty. They add amazing flavor to any recipe. Surprisingly, though, scallops are not described as fishy. So you get all the benefits of omega-3 acids often found in fish without the fishy flavor.
Aside from omega-3, which helps regulate heartbeat and supports nervous system function and memory, scallops are packed with vitamins and minerals. They have high levels of zinc and magnesium, and just one serving meets your daily requirement of vitamin B12. Scallops are also famous for being packed with taurine. With all these nutrients, scallops are said to improve heart health, weight management, physical recovery and may even help to prevent strokes.
Raw scallops: Of course!
Yes, scallops can be eaten raw – in fact, some people will only eat them raw. There’s nothing like the natural sweetness of eating raw scallops freshly caught from the sea–and they must be fresh. Unseasoned is the quickest option for those who can’t wait to try, but add a little lemon juice or salt and pepper to one for a taste sensation. Slice the scallops thinly and serve with onions, garlic, tomatoes or basil to have mouthwatering scallop carpaccio.
In Japan, scallop sushi, or hotate, is a delicacy, and it’s served in various ways. Perhaps the most traditional is nigiri hotate sushi. Scallops are butterflied and delicately placed on beds of shaped sushi rice with minimal seasonings. Another popular option is gunkanmaki: scallops sliced once lengthwise, laid flat over rice and wrapped with a sizable strip of nori (seaweed) in a war boat shape.
Dried scallops and scallop broth
The rich umami flavors of scallops become even more intense when they’re dried. This makes them ideal for making rich sauces and broths. Dried scallops are usually reconstituted with water when used in recipes, but on occasion they’re also eaten dry as beer snacks. Although small, you’ll likely be full after just three scallops, as they soak up water in the stomach and expand.
A delicious recipe featuring the dried delicacies is simmered daikon and dried scallop. Daikon soaks up the flavor of the scallops making for a satisfying texture and flavor. Dishes that use a scallop broth require fewer other seasonings because the aroma and umami of the scallops bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.
Scallops on the BBQ – including with butter and soy sauce
If you only have the chance to eat scallops once in your life, make sure to make it BBQ scallops. A simple but oh so effective recipe, just the smell of these scallops cooking will have your mouth watering. These scallops are even cooked in their own shells on the grill, so cleanup is easy! The shucked scallop gets placed on the heat with a dollop of butter. Then, they’re drizzled with soy sauce and left to cook.
The grilled scallop melts in your mouth with a rich buttery taste accompanied by a mellow, salty soy sauce. This Hokkaido specialty gives classic BBQ an unusual and delicious twist. And creating a scallops rice bowl with fresh-seared scallops and butter is truly a dream come true.