In the past, I have had a difficult time searing scallops. The problem was there was so much moisture that came from the scallops. I could not get them to turn that beautiful golden color. The problem was that I have been purchasing wet scallops. When you purchase scallops ask your seafood man if he has dry scallops. There is a difference between “dry” and ” wet” scallops. If they are wet they have been treated with Phosphates, which is a preservative. This makes the scallop weigh more. So you are paying extra for water. Go figure! When you try to sear them a lot of excess liquid is released and you do not get that caramelization. I have been able to find dry scallops at a local seafood market and Publix. Whole foods carry them as well. If you cannot find dry scallops, make sure you rinse scallops and pat them dry with a paper-towel before cooking. This will help some but it still is not as good as the dry scallops. Wet scallops are ok (if you cannot find dry scallops) to use in gumbos, stews, soups and chowders. If you are searing scallops, dry scallops are the only way to go.
February 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm
I learned this in an issue of Coastal Living years ago. Dry is the only way to go. The article, which I kept, says it is easy to tell the difference: dry scallops feel sticky; wet scallops are slippery. I grew up getting my own scallops out of the bay in Panama City so it was a surprise to me when I starting purchasing them that they were processing them! Super good tip!
February 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm
That’s a great tip! I had no idea!