You Should Start Soaking You Scallops In Milk. Here's Why

Scallops make for a delightfully indulgent meal that's actually pretty easy to make in your home kitchen. Fantastic served seared, scallops only need a few minutes in a hot skillet to develop an impressive crust. All you'll have left to do is whip up a quick pan sauce and serve with your favorite side to round out the meal.

Though they have the potential to become a weeknight staple, there are a few things that can go wrong when making scallops. Like other varieties of seafood and shellfish, scallops can sometimes take on a "fishy" aroma and taste if they're not at peak freshness. Additionally, these bivalves sometimes get a bad rap for having a chewy or rubbery texture — often a result of overcooking the delicate protein.

The next time you prepare scallops at home, try this trick for extra insurance against any less-than-ideal flavors or textures in your finished dish: Just soak the scallops in milk prior to cooking.

Soaking scallops in milk

Though it may sound like an odd pairing at first, milk can help you get the best results from your scallops. According to, the milk will neutralize any fishy notes and aromas while also making the flesh more tender.

Not only is this milk-soaking technique effective for scallops, but it also works for a range of seafood and fish. As Cook's Illustrated explained, the method works because the casein in the milk naturally binds to TMA (or trimethylamine) in the fish — the compound that produces that classic "fishy" quality. Once the TMA binds to the casein in the milk, the milk gets drained away — leaving you with sweet, fresh-tasting fish.

Per, to implement this milk technique with your scallops, just place them in a bowl with enough milk to cover. Keep the milk-soaked scallops in your fridge for about an hour and drain before using. If you're planning on searing your scallops, make sure to pat them dry of any remaining milk before proceeding.