Few things compliment fish and chips better than a few grilled sea scallops. Did you know that the classic seashell that you see on mermaids and as the symbol of St. James! Perhaps most easily recognizable as the symbol for the popular Shell gas stations. Sea Scallops are actually a type of saltwater clams. Here in the United States we typically only eat the adductor muscle, where in other places around the world they often serve the entire clam.
The shells of the sea scallop are often quite ornamental. Being in a lovely fan shape, various colors, and in a variety of sizes. They are often prized souvenirs by tourists to beaches. Their bright colors make them easy to collect by beach goers. Their relative lightweight and small size make them easy mementos for remembering a vacation.
The reason for the large tasty part is because the clams are able to quickly open and close their shells to propel themselves away from predators. They do this swimming in an erratic pattern in hopes of avoiding being eaten. It is quite unfortunate that they are not considered to be high in sustainability, though hopefully aqua farming practices with change this soon. Different sized scallops are often from completely different species and you can check the sustainability of each. Further unfortunate is the occurrence of domoic acid being found in some sources of sea scallops. Because of this, sea scallops should be only a very special occasion treat.
Sea scallops are often served grilled, fried, steamed, baked or even minced into soups. This versatile protein is loved the world over. If you are thinking about cooking sea scallops the important thing is to not overcook this seafood. It is similar to shrimp on how important it is to not overcook, however there is a plethora of information to help you get your sea scallops perfect. If you want to impress, consider grilled sea scallops and steak for dinner. Possibly served with steamed asparagus and potatoes au gratin.