Saturday, July 31, 2010

How To Shuck Fresh Scallops

With pictures! With video! With words!

Can't beat that.

And when I say "fresh scallops", I mean FRESH! These babies were pulled out of the ocean the morning that I bought them at the Willunga Farmers Market. The wife and I really like the market. Every Saturday morning no matter what the weather: rain, hail, sleet, 120 F temps, no matter cus it's always there!

I especially like the stall from Nangkita that has the venison sausages from their own deer farm, but that's a different story.

Back to the scallops!

These juicy shellfish were taken from Kangaroo Island, which is just a hop off the tip of Cape Jervis. I've never been there, but it is on my list of many places to visit.


Let's say you've got a fresh load of scallops and you have NO IDEA how to get them out of their shells, nor do you have any idea what to do with them once you have "shucked" them.

That's why you are reading this. To Learn. From Me.

Fresh scallops are actually very easy to "shuck" from their shells. Oh, the part of the scallop you in the US eat is the adductor muscle that holds the two shells together and propels the little bugger all over, quickly. When you are outside of the US, you'll find that not only is the adductor muscle eaten, but so is the roe.

Roe is the bright pink part of the scallop. It's the reproductive part. And it is oh so tasty, smooth, and creamy! Seriously, I think the fresh roe is better than the adductor muscle!

Now, if you have been interested in learning how to shuck scallops you've probably seen that youtube video with the guy on the fishing boat shucking scallops at the rate of one every five seconds. Yeah, that's fast. That's also his job. But it's not your job and you also want to keep the roe.

That's why you are reading this post.

First, you need some fresh scallops:

Please note that is a butter knife. You do not need NOR want a sharp knife for shucking scallops. Also notice that one shell of a scallop is deep and concave, and the other is flat --in fact slightly convex.

Put the scallop in your palm with the concave shell down and the hinge towards your thumb. You'll notice a gap between the shell halves close to the hinge. Here I am pointing that out to you:

Just gently slide your butter knife into that gap. You want to work it all the way to the other side whilst keep the knife as close to the flat shell as possible.

Once you slice through the large, tasty, succulent adductor muscle the scallop will basically pop open:

Open that baby up and scrap out everything except the large muscle AND the roe! That pink stuff is the roe --gourmet food!

Then just slide your knife under the muscle and the roe still attached to the concave shell:

Don't worry if you can't keep the roe attached to the muscle of the scallop, but keep the roe anyways. Your plate should soon start to look like this:

Here's a short vid demonstrating the process. Please note, if you don't keep the roe (you idiot, you) then this can be done in about ten seconds. 30 of the 43 seconds is me saving the roe.

To cook these fresh, succulent, ultra-creamy, delicious scallops, all you need is a small saucepan and a bit of olive oil along with some butter. Or you can eat them raw --you'll be transorted to heaven! But don't eat them raw if they aren't ultra fresh. Anyways, half olive oil and half butter:

Do NOT over cook them! 45 seconds to a mins on each side in the sizzling oil/butter is perfect. Your plate of cooked scallops should now look like this:

Just eat them. Savor every tender, juicy morsel as you drool all over yourself and make very pleasant purring sounds.


ellen said...

Great post! You answered my "how do you do this" quite well! Can't wait to try it!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Ellen: Once you get the hang of it you'll find it's pretty easy. And make sure you keep the roe, to me that's the best part.

Anonymous said...

Great instructions - I am going to cook them for the first time

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Anon: Just remember that Fresh Is Best! And keep the roe as it's so tasty.