The Absolute Best Way To Thaw Frozen Scallops

Scallops, though small, are mighty. These mollusks, like clams or mussels, are delicate in flavor, but are super absorbent and will pick up any flavors you roast them in, making them a fantastic delicacy for a special occasion meal or celebration (via Fulton Fish Market). The soft white meat of the scallop is golden and buttery when perfectly seared, and disappointingly rubbery if over or undercooked.

Because they are so small and delicate, the little morsels are notorious for cooking rapidly, taking about only three minutes on each side to grow crispy and cook through. But it's important to never take your eyes off them, or else you risk overcooking them in mere seconds.

Now, if you are planning on preparing scallops for dinner, it's always preferred that you buy meat fresh to prevent the risk of food poisoning. However, obtaining raw scallops from the sea isn't always an option, so the next best thing is to buy them frozen.

Thaw your scallops in the fridge

Buying frozen scallops isn't the end of the world. Seafood, like all meat, is perishable, and freezing them is a fantastic way to safely prolong their shelf life! Scallops that go through the flash-freezing process, as stated by the Wild Alaskan Company, are safely preserved, but you must note whether the frozen scallops you are purchasing are labeled as "wet" or "dry." The Alaskan Company defines "wet" scallops as shellfish that are frozen with chemical preservatives, which often taste rubbery and don't sear well, so avoid buying them.

"Dry" scallops, on the other hand, use no chemical preservatives and cook like fresh scallops after being thawed. To thaw dry scallops, City Fish Market recommends removing them from the freezer and placing them in the refrigerator. You must thaw the scallops slowly, and safely to ensure they don't pick up any harmful bacteria on the counter or get pre-cooked and tough in the microwave.

After they are fully thawed out in the refrigerator, pat dry your scallops so they will brown properly when pan-seared (via Better Homes & Gardens). By following these steps, your frozen scallops will taste just as delicious and rich as any fresh-caught shellfish!