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A question about a recipe: Thai-Style Scallops

Scallopscloseup

Any thoughts on the use of frozen scallops as opposed to fresh. I've had horrible luck with grit in my sole source for fresh scallops. Frozen seem less problematic, but I've never compared the taste or more importantly the texture between fresh and frozen.

asked by thurston over 2 years ago
7 answers 1547 views
Winnie100
added over 2 years ago

Frozen is fine. I believe that what I actually used when I made the recipe originally :)

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added over 2 years ago

I think frozen seafood are often more fresh because they are frozen immediately after they are caught/harvested. The "fresh" seafood you get at markets may actually be defrosted or may reflect some lag time between when the seafood was caught and when it was shipped to the market.

Meg_b_f52
added over 2 years ago

The only issue I have with frozen scallops is that many of them are treated with a chemical called STP - these are labeled as wet-pack scallops. The fresh, dry pack scallops that I purchase at Whole Foods have much less moisture and they sear a lot easier. With the frozen scallops, just be careful to make sure and defrost properly and dry them really well before cooking.

Imag0055
added over 2 years ago

I regularly freeze fresh Maine scallops when I can get them. However, grit in fresh scallops is an unusual problem. Where are those fresh scallops coming from? I would only ever buy the kind that are called "dry"---that is, without that chemical/water bath that plumps them up. Sometimes true bay scallops are available, usually from Massachusetts, but I've also seen the so-called calico scallops that are sometimes unscrupulously passed off as bay scallops. I have also heard of fake deep sea scallops made by stamping them out of shark meat. Scallops are quite perishable, so a frozen product from a reliable source might actually be better than a poor fresh product.

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added over 2 years ago

the scallops i'm getting most likely from from the pacific. i live outside of los angeles, and have a decent fish market in town, but i believe the fresh scallops are harvested by a "dredging" technique, that, as i've read, can drive silt into the scallop. apparently, no amount of soaking or cleaning can remove the grit from the tissue.

Imag0055
added over 2 years ago

Ugh. In addition to grit in the scallops, dredging is terrible for the sea bed. Diver-harvested scallops are worth the extra money, even if it means eating them less often.

Photo_squirrel
added over 2 years ago

thurston, your seafood market concurs that rinsing will not remove the grit? Here in Boston I always rinse my scallops because grit is usually present in some amount.
Personally, while i have frozen scallops, fresh are much better in texture and in retaining their natural juices . As mentioned above, it's harder to get a good sear on previously frozen scallops because they exude so much juice when cooked.