What Do Scallops Taste Like?


A scallop is a unique seafood with a minimum of fat, no carbohydrates, low-calorie content and, of course, an exceptional and unique taste. Sea scallops are extremely popular all around the world because of their nutritional value, exceptional taste and flavor. Sea scallops are pretty pricey, and not many people have had the chance to try them. What does a scallop taste like? Let’s find out.

What do scallops taste like? Scallops have a nutty, buttery, slightly sweet taste similar to snow crabs, lobsters and shrimps. Scallops can have a subtle briny flavor reminiscent of fresh seawater. Scallops are very tender and soft but firmer than lobster. Scallop caviar is particularly delicate with a salty “sea” taste. 

Do you want to know why scallops are so popular and expensive? Read our research.

The Ultimate Guide on The Taste of Scallops

The scallop is a bivalve mollusk that is popular all over the world. What does a scallop look like? It is easily recognizable by its ribbed fan-shaped shells. There are many types of scallops, but sea scallops are by far the most popular. What is the flavor of scallops? The flavour of a scallop is pleasant and delicate, with a slightly sweetish aftertaste. Soft gourmet scallop meat is rightfully considered a valuable delicacy.

Scallops are healthy and tasty — it is a reak storehouse of micro-and macroelements and protein. And yet the main thing in a scallop is its taste, a unique sweet-creamy, unique in its kind — no other shellfish can boast of such a combination.

All scallops taste sweet if fresh. Japanese scallop is very mineral and even creamy, the sweetest of all. Far Eastern is similar to it: it is also sweet. The Japanese scallop is also the largest in size.

Of course, like any other seafood, the best scallops are those that are taken from the bottom of the sea and immediately eaten without leaving the shore. Scallops do not like long heat treatment: the simpler and faster they are cooked, the better they are. Fresh, good-quality scallops should not taste fishy.

Are scallops chewy? Scallops are not chewy as long as they are cooked properly. Why do scallops get rubbery? Scallops are very tender and soft by their texture, but they can become chewy, tough and rubbery after long heat treatment or after improper defrosting. Make sure you follow the recipe to cook a juicy, soft scallop.

Scallops vs. Shrimps Taste

Some people compare the meat of scallops to the meat of shrimps. Is it true? Are scallops similar to shrimp? Scallops are very similar to shrimps with their sweetish and tender meat and soft and neutral texture. Shrimp tastes very similar to other crustaceans, from crayfish to sea lobster and crab, and they are often cooked together — baked or fried.

Scallops vs. Crabs Taste

Likewise, scallops do taste like a crab because both of them have a sweet, buttery, nutty flavor reminiscent of hazelnuts and almonds. Both scallops and crabs can also have a briny, fresh seawater taste which should be faint. Scallops do taste a lot like crab and are often used in cooking together — they can be fried, steamed, baked or just boiled.

Scallops can not only be boiled and fried but also stewed, marinated and baked in paella, with cheese and bacon. All scallop recipes, simple or complex, can be tailored to your needs, tastes and the current season. For example, instead of fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs and serve sauerkraut as a side dish. Scallops will go well with almost any food on your table and will perfectly fit into the festive menu. Like any seafood, scallops cook quickly and digest quickly without leaving heaviness in the stomach.

Scallops can also be found with or without a shell. The meat can vary in color — from grayish pink to bright orange. Scallop dishes are available in many countries and are especially appreciated in Japan, China, France, Spain and Croatia. Scallops are used to prepare salads, soups, snacks, aspic and much more.

Gordon Ramsay Shows How To Cook And Plate Scallops

Scallops’ color varies from light cream to beige depending on the age of the mollusk and its habitat. The scallop should not be white, as the white color indicates that the scallop was exposed to phosphates to increase its weight. Such a scallop has practically no taste.

The scallop meat tastes very tender, slightly sweetish, a bit like crab meat in structure. In Japanese cuisine, scallops are used very widely — they are boiled, stewed, baked, and sushi is made with it. In French cuisine, scallop is also very popular in salads, and in some restaurants, scallops are served raw, like oysters, and eaten with lemon juice and olive oil. But of course, you can only eat raw scallop in those areas where it is caught.

You should not eat frozen scallops raw — they are not as tasty. Fresh frozen scallop should be thawed at room temperature or under cold water. Never defrost scallops in the microwave or in hot water — the meat will creep and lose all its taste.

You can cook scallop fillets by steaming, grilling, or simply boiling. You only need to cook a scallop for a couple of minutes, otherwise the meat will become tough, just like with squid. Scallop with pasta or in a salad is very good, you can also serve it simply with a sauce. It looks very impressive if you serve the cooked scallop fillet directly in the shells on the table.

What Do Scallops Go Well With?

Scallop meat has a unique taste, slightly reminiscent of crab: delicate, slightly sweetish, so it goes well with many other products. Scallop meat can be simmered, fried, boiled or steamed. Some gourmets even eat them raw, simply sprinkling scallops with lemon juice and olive oil. Scallops go well with:

  • honey,
  • lemon and grapefruit,
  • tomato and cucumber,
  • carrots and pumpkin,
  • mushrooms,
  • potatoes,
  • cheese and cream,
  • olive oil and butter,
  • cilantro and coriander,
  • cauliflower,
  • zucchini,
  • broccoli,
  • leek,
  • white and green asparagus,
  • fennel,
  • ginger root,
  • rice (e.g. creamy asparagus risotto),
  • polenta,
  • spinach,
  • seaweed,
  • white wine and champagne.

How to Make Perfect Scallops Video Guide

What Does A Bad Scallop Taste Like?

What do bad scallops taste like? A bad, not fresh scallop will have a metallic, soapy, fishy taste. Bad scallops will also acquire an unbearable taste and smell of ammonia. Bad scallops will have a sour smell, dull color and slimy texture.

If scallops smell fishy, like soap or taste metallic, they were exposed to phosphates or other chemicals to make them bigger or to hide their unfreshness. If you notice any of these signs, throw the scallops away to avoid food poisoning.

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