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Wrap in paper towels and pay dry, salt and pepper and make sure pan is hot before you place them in or they will not get a good crisp on either side
I think the hot pan is key. Another important factor is to make sure the scallops aren't too close together, otherwise they will steam rather than sear.
Sam is a trusted home cook.
You don't if they are frozen and plumped up with injections for the freezing process.
Fresh non-injected scallops are the way to go. You can try to salt them and extract moisture with paper towels....but if they're previously frozen and injected with stabilizers..they'll still extrude liquid.
You could also try frying them in clarified butter which gives a nice crust to a scallop along with a quick dusting of cornstrach or better yet "wondra flour" (in a blue paper bottle in the flour section with a shaker top).
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
It's important to purchase "dry" vs. "wet" scallops. The wet one have been soaked in a phosphate solution which makes them hold water. They are harder to sear because of it, and the chemical gives them an off-flavor.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Sam, hit the nail on the head. One of my pet peeves is when restaurants put "diver scallops" on their menu when they are really not. I've called several out on this by saying "if they were really diver scallops you wouldn't be able to sell them at this price." The reply I got back from the kitchen on one occasion was, well they're "fresh frozen."
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