My Broiled Scallops are crispy bites of seafood heaven. Scallops are tender and slightly sweet with a much milder flavor than other seafood options. Broiled Scallops make a great appetizer or served as the main dish with pasta or risotto.
What Are Scallops?
Scallops are a bivalve mollusk related to clams, mussels and oysters. The delicate sweet part we eat is the muscle that opens and closes the shell. Compared to other seafood, scallops have a very mild taste that many seafood haters find palatable. Scallops live on the ocean floor and move about by clapping their shell together.1
The part of the scallop we enjoy in my Broiled Scallops is round and becomes very tender when cooked. They have a sweet and slightly salty seawater taste and a dense, hearty texture. Scallops are growing in popular domestically and internationally. Annually, U.S. fishermen harvest 50 to 60 million pounds of scallops!
Scallops demand has led to year-round availability of frozen and imported scallops. There are several types of wild and farmed scallops that are imported from Mexico, China, Japan and Europe. 2
Your best chance for fresh scallops on the East Coast is from October to March when they have their peak harvest season. There are two common scallop varieties––bay scallops and sea scallops. Bay scallops are the smaller of the two, and have a firm texture and delicate flavor. There are about 100 bay scallops to the pound.3
Sea scallops are found in deep, cold water all over the world. In the US they are harvested from North Carolina up to Newfoundland, Canada. Sea scallops have a less delicate flavor than bay scallops, but offer a more hearty mouthfeel. There are about 15 to 20 sea scallops to the pound.
Scallops are low in fat and high in protein and also supply vitamin B12, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium. Scallops make a great high-protein substitute for animal proteins such as beef, pork and chicken. A serving size is about 4 to 5 large scallops, 9 to 12 medium or 15 to 20 small scallops. A serving of scallops will provide about 90 calories and 17 grams of protein. 2,3
Seafood Twice A Week
According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines we should enjoy seafood (fish and shellfish) twice a week. For the general population, this means consuming about 8 ounces (1/2 pound) of seafood per week. To compliment the nutrients in scallops it is recommend to also enjoy a seafood source high in omega-3s such as salmon, mackerel or tuna. Strong evidence supports that dietary patterns that include seafood are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.4
Storing Scallops 5
If buying fresh scallops they are best enjoyed right away! They will store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can also store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Cooked scallops will store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. How do you know if your scallops are bad? If they smell sour or “off” or have a slimy texture they are most likely bad and should be discarded.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Broiled Scallops are ready in less than 15 minutes and will provide an indulgent meal. I prefer using sea scallops for my Broiled Scallops recipe, they are larger and offer a more satiating mouthfeel––but use what you got! If butter is your thing, feel free to replace the olive oil with it for a more melt-in-mouth effect.
To make the Broiled Scallops, preheat the broiler, mix the scallops with the oil (or melted butter) and lemon juice (fresh is best!) and broil! When broiling I recommend keeping the tray on a rack below the highest shelf. This will allow them to cook through before they get too crispy on the outside. It’s always best when broiling to keep an eye on the oven as to avoid the scallops turning into burnt marshmallows.
Once the Broiled Scallops are out of the oven sprinkle the fresh herbs on top (dry will work too). My favorite herbs to use are parsley, chives and thyme. Once they cool you can serve them as an appetizer or snack. They also go great with pasta and risotto. Enjoy!
- What Are Scallops? Everything You Need to Know. Southern Living. Accessed July 17, 2020. https://www.southernliving.com/seafood/what-are-scallops
- Scallops | Seafood Health Facts. Accessed July 17, 2020. https://www.seafoodhealthfacts.org/seafood-choices/description-top-commercial-seafood-items/scallops
- Scallops: Delicate Flavor from the Sea. @berkeleywellness. Accessed July 17, 2020.
- A Closer Look Inside Healthy Eating Patterns – 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov. Accessed July 17, 2020. https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/chapter-1/a-closer-look-inside-healthy-eating-patterns/#callout-seafood-heading
- How Long Do Raw Scallops Last in the Fridge or Freezer? Accessed July 17, 2020. https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18279
- 12 ounces sea scallops patted dry with paper towl
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped herbs whatever you like!
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Season scallops with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together oil and lemon juice. Pour over scallops.
- Broil for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, flip over and broil 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Note that large scallops may take slightly longer, but scallops are cooked when still slightly pink inside.
- Serve garnished with herbs