Scallops’ attractive fan-shaped shells contain translucent off-white meat wrapped with a bright orange roe or coral, which has a different taste and texture. The membrane, grey-brown frill and black thread of intestine are all discarded. King scallops have approximately 15cm wide shells (one rounded, one flat) and you get 18 to 35 pieces of meat per kg. Queen scallops have approximately 7cm wide shells (both rounded), and you get 40 to 120 pieces of meat per kg. They can be sold either in the shell or as shelled meat – with or without the roe.
The easiest way of catching scallops is through dredging, but there is also a market for premium quality diver-caught scallops. A superb starter with or without shells, Scallop meat has a sweet, delicate flavour, and requires very little cooking – the simpler the better. Best either steamed, pan-fried or grilled.
Text by Seafish