How To Cook Wet Scallops

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Scallops are sweet, but when it comes to how to cook wet scallops, the approach is a bit different. The cooking process is, however, quite simple. The good thing is, you don’t have to be a pro chef to prepare that delicious and perfectly browned scallop.  With just the right pan and cooking heat, you are good to go.

These scallops can easily be found on supermarket shelves. The wet ones are usually soaked in a sodium tripolyphosphate solution to extend their shelf life. They cook quickly, leaving a tender muscle with a deep golden brown crust when well-prepared. If one is not careful, one might end up with a gummy mess.

So in this article, we will learn how to cook wet scallops to perfection.

How to prepare wet scallops

Understanding where your scallops come from and how they have been preserved is the first step to making the most succulent scallops of all time.


  • Scallops
  • ¼ cup Lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Pepper

What you will need

  • Paper towels
  • Tongs
  • Glass bowl
  • Pan



Here, you will mix the lemon juice, sea salt, and the water in a bowl, then place it in the microwave on a low setting for at least 30 seconds. Stir the mixture, then microwave it again till all the salt has dissolved. Add 2 cups of ice-cold water into the mixture and stir, ensuring that the brine is cold.


After your brine is ready, toss in your scallops and let them soak for up to 40 minutes. After that, stack the scallops onto paper towels to drain water.


Add some pepper and salt to your scallops, then go to the next step almost immediately to prevent the salt from drawing the scallops’ moisture.


Heat some ghee on a pan on medium heat, add your scallops, and give them time to sear without disturbance. Leaving them undisturbed for about 2 minutes enables them to caramelize nicely. After that, you can flip to the other side with tongs and allow the scallops to sear for an additional 2 minutes. You can then serve and enjoy!


  • Be careful not to overcook your scallops as they tend to continue cooking even after they have been removed from heat.
  • After the scallops, cook, squeeze some lemon juice or dot them with butter, then serve.
  • Use flavor-free oil like olive oil and grapeseed oil.
  • Scallops should be cooked the very same day they are bought. Frozen ones can be thawed in the refrigerator.
  • Use an oyster knife to remove the scallop from the shell. Do not forget to remove the frill and stomach sack before rinsing off the scallop.
  • Smell the scallops before purchasing them. A fishy smell is a no-no. Clean and well-handled scallops should have a fresh smell.
  • Do not add intense flavors that will mask up the scallops’ taste.
  • Peel the scallops’ tendons and toss them away.

How to sear wet scallops

Nothing beats munching onto a perfectly seared scallop. You wouldn’t want to taste a rubbery scallop anyway! That would literally be like chewing on a rubber sole, yuck! So how do you ensure that your scallop ends up with that perfect golden crust?

First, ensure you have a good pan with high heating capacity for the scallops to get a good sear. Ensure that the oil you use can withstand the high heat of up to 2320 C. So for perfect sear, brine the scallops, soak, dry them with paper towels, then sear them on hot butter. Do not, however, let the butter smoke alot. Leave the scallops to sear for 2 minutes, then flip to the other side and sear it for the exact time.


  • Avoid overcrowding your pans to give the scallops enough space to cook. Adding at least 5 scallops at a go gives good sear.
  • Stainless steel pan gives a gorgeous crust. Cast–iron is another great option.
  • Avoid moving your scallop as they cook so that they develop a perfect crust.
  • Don’t use the regular butter, as it might turn your scallops into a black mess.

Should you rinse scallops before cooking?

Yes! Imagine biting onto a sandy scallop, disgusting!

These sea creatures live on a sandy seafloor and also filter water through their bodies. That way, they tend to have fine particles of sand and grit stuck on them and are usually rarely notice-able. This is why a rinse under cool water is essential.

The scallop shouldn’t have muscle or tissue attached to it. If any, pull it away. After rinsing, pat dry thoroughly, so the scallop ends up with a rich brown color.

How to remove water from scallops

Too much moisture in scallops prevents them from caramelizing well. Wet scallops contain too much water in them, which might make them hard to sear. However, if allowed to dry properly, then you do not have to worry about a thing. To remove that excess moisture, salt them and line them on paper towels to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, which is enough time for the water to drain.

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS)

Q: What temperatures should scallops be cooked to?

A: Temperatures of 1150 cook scallop centers perfectly. Since they are cooked over high heat, you can raise the final temperatures to 1300.

Q: Can you cut scallops in half?

A: Big scallops might end up with a raw center after cooking. The good thing is that they can also be enjoyed raw. If you love them raw, then there would be no need to cut the scallop in half. If you are that person who enjoys crispy edges, divide the big scallops into two before cooking.

Q: Should scallops be washed before cooking?

A: Yes. We all want to enjoy our scallops without biting into grit or any broken shells. Here is how you clean your scallop: – Remove the dark parts and leave the white muscle intact. Insert a knife into the scallops’ muscle, remove the shell’s muscle, and discard the lower half. Run the scallop under a faucet for 30 seconds to wash away any sand or grit particles. Rub the surface of the scallop to get rid of any stuck impurities that aren’t visible. If there are any side muscles stuck onto the scallop, pull them out because they don’t cook well. Lastly, rinse the scallop, then dry it.

Q: Do you soak scallops before cooking?

A: Wet scallops are preserved with chemicals, and the scallops absorb that chemical taste. Scallops should be soaked in water for some time to freshen their flavor

Q: How to sear scallops without sticking?

Scallops that have stuck on the pan aren’t attractive to the eyes. They are also quite expensive, and ruining them can be such a waste. One thing that causes the scallops to stick is adding them to a not-so-hot pan. Your scallops sizzle when added into a hot pan and are ready to be devoured within minutes. Using enough oil or butter is another excellent way to prevent sticking, and you should wait till it gets really hot; otherwise, you will end up with a sticky mess on the pan. Using at least 3 tablespoons of oil can significantly reduce the chances of your scallops sticking. Check on the time you allow the scallops to sear. If you turn them too soon, the proteins will not have caramelized well, and so they won’t release from the pan quickly. Give them sufficient time- around 3 minutes, then flip them on the other side to cook.


You can now prepare scallops at the comfort of your home with ease and skip those visits to the restaurant. Scallops go well with tangy flavors, and you can go ahead and serve them with your favorite salad.

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