Scallops are the third most consumed shellfish in the world, after oysters and mussels. Which is also called the scallop of St. James or the scallop of the pilgrims. And he is also a symbol of the goddess Venus.
What is the name of a scallop in different languages:
- In English – scallop, or St James shell or escallop
- French – Coquille Saint-Jacques
- In Italian – la capasanta or Conchiglia di San Giacomo
- In Spanish – la concha de vieira
- German – Jakobsmuschel
- Dutch – Sint-jakobsschelp
Inside the shell, a scallop consists of two parts:
- cylindrical white and fleshy muscle, called “walnut”
- and reddish or orange “caviar”, it is called “coral”.
What a scallop tastes like
Its dense white meat has a nutty, slightly sweet taste. And orange caviar (coral) has a more delicate texture and a stronger “sea” taste. It is often separated from meat and used to enhance the flavor of sauces. But you can also cook with her. Try as you like best.
In Europe, we meet two main types:
- “Mediterranean scallop” Pecten jacobaeus from the Mediterranean Sea – it is smaller
- and the “scallop” Pecten maximus from the Atlantic. Which can reach 15 cm in diameter. Caught from Norway, the northern British Isles along the entire Atlantic coast to southern Portugal.
The most “fishy places” for these mollusks are the Adriatic Sea, the English Channel, which washes the French region of Normandy, the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brittany (France), the Spanish north (Galicia), England, Scotland and Ireland. Therefore, of course, our travels such as the Basque Country Food Tour or the Bordeaux Food Tour include enjoying scallops.
There is a wild scallop, and there is aquaculture, that is, grown. This is indicated on the packaging. Wild, of course, twice as expensive. In Norway, it is even mined by divers. The advantage of the farm is that you can buy it all year round. But the Sakhalin scallop is a different variety. This is the seaside scallop Mizuhopecten yessoensis (Yesso scallop, Ezo giant scallop).
But he also belongs to the large family Pectinidae (scallops). His name Yesso / Ezo comes from the fact that he was found north of Japan. This species is found on the Far East Asian coast, in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean: China, Korea, Japan and Russia, to the Sea of Okhotsk, southern Sakhalin and southern Kuril Islands, and, possibly, even in the north to the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands.
Composition and calorie content
Scallop contains practically no fat and carbohydrates, but it is extremely rich in protein. 100 g of scallops contain less than 100 Kcal. And another 100 g of scallop fillet contains 150 times more iodine than 100 g of beef. And that’s not counting other useful trace elements – cobalt, magnesium, zinc.
The scallop holds the record for vitamin B12, which is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system, and its regular use helps to lower cholesterol levels and helps to lose weight.
- Calorie content 92 kcal,
- Protein 17 g,
- Fat 2 g
- Carbohydrates 3 g
The benefits of scallop
The properties of scallops have been studied for a long time. The nutritional value of scallop has made it one of the favorite foods in many cuisines around the world. The meat may not seem very appetizing in appearance, but when cooked properly, it tastes great.
- healthy protein that is perfectly absorbed;
- unsaturated fats;
- amino acids and lipids;
- vitamins and minerals.
Tryptophan regulates appetite and improves mood. Fat is contained, but its amount is negligible and it will not lead to weight gain. There are many minerals in shellfish. A small serving contains a quarter of our daily requirement of selenium, recognized as the strongest antioxidant that slows down the aging process. Iodine is of great importance for our body.
Such a product must be eaten by those who are losing weight, people with diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Many are interested in the benefits and harms of scallops for the body. Speaking about the benefits, it should be noted that they:
- strengthen the nervous system and bones;
- improve the functioning of the thyroid gland;
- prevent and treat atherosclerosis;
- serve as a building material for body cells;
- allow you to build muscle and fight excess fat;
- well strengthen masculine strength;
- improve the condition of nails, skin and hair;
- rejuvenates the body;
- recognized as a dietary product;
- have a beneficial effect on immunity.
How to choose scallops
Chinese scallops tend to be more attractive. They are large, white and uniform in size. And they are often cheaper. But, as you might guess, such scallops can only be obtained through artificial cultivation. They are not useful, on the contrary: chemicals and heavy metal additives are often used in production.
Russian Far Eastern scallops, in turn, are harvested naturally, right in the sea. They are caught near the shores of Kamchatka. They are smaller, darker, but they contain all the benefits invested by nature itself. Kamchatka scallops have a delicate sweetish taste, and their structure is a bit like crab meat.
Their price, although higher than that of the Chinese ones, is quite affordable for a delicacy, about 10 euros per kilogram.
How to eat scallops
The most useful scallops are young, up to 2-3 cm in size. The larger the scallop, the older it is. A proper scallop should smell like the sea and have a nice creamy shade.
The scallop can be eaten in any form. The Japanese prefer to boil, stew scallops and use them in sushi. And the French are great connoisseurs of scallop salads. The easiest one contains just three ingredients: raw scallops, lemon juice, and olive oil.
The most important thing is to properly defrost the scallops, otherwise you can spoil their taste. To prevent this from happening, leave the frozen scallops in the refrigerator overnight or soak them in cold water for a couple of hours. Cooking them is even easier and faster: 1-2 minutes are enough to heat the scallops.
What foods to combine scallops with
Like many seafood, scallops are especially good for dinner. Add steamed or stewed green vegetables to a side dish and a simple yet delicious meal is done. Ginger and cilantro perfectly set off the taste and add piquancy.
It will be good in a salad with arugula and pine nuts. The citrus marinade will add spice to the scallop, and the ginger sauce will make it doubly healthy.
A scallop can be eaten raw, boiled, stewed, steamed or grilled, fried, baked – the choice is huge. It will take only a few minutes to prepare, and the taste of the finished dish will surely delight even sophisticated gourmets.
How to store scallops
The only way to preserve all of its beneficial properties and taste is instant deep freezing immediately after the scallop is taken out of the shell. Modern companies produce freezing directly on ships on the high seas using special equipment.
Store scallops in the freezer and defrost shortly before cooking, gently and gradually. To do this, the package with scallops must be refrigerated overnight or immersed in cold water for several hours.
Do not cook frozen scallops or use hot water for defrosting.
One has only to treat the product with caution if there is a possibility of an allergic reaction. For the same reason, scallops are not recommended for lactating women.
Scallops with parsley
- Rinse the scallops thoroughly, dry with a paper towel. Finely chop the garlic and parsley.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic and parsley. Dip the scallops in the resulting mixture and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat a frying pan over high heat, reducing it slightly just before cooking the scallops. Fry the scallops for 1.5-2 minutes on each side.
- Arrange ready-made scallops on plates, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve immediately.