Scallops: Catch and Cook

Scallops are one of the many amazing seafood options we have here in Florida, they’re even better when you catch them yourself! If you want to learn how to cook these delicious morsels read on!


Cooking Scallops  

The title of this post is a bit misleading since I am not actually providing any tips on how to catch scallops. If you want to learn more about catching them, check out my post, “Scalloping in Steinhatchee”.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be like many food blogs where you have to read the author’s entire life story just to get to the recipe.

First thing’s first’ shucking.



It’s actually much easier than it looks at first glace to get these little guys out of their shells. You can use either a spoon or buy a specialized tool for shucking, both work well.



Gently use your tool of choice to carefully pry open the shell. If it seems to be clamped tightly shut, use something pointed to work the edges ever so slightly so that you can get your larger tool inside the crease. Once open, perform the action below. 

P.S. – Make sure you have a vessel ready to hold the shells and discarded innards as this is very messy work, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.   


Once you finish shucking, gently rinse the scallops in cold water and pat dry. If you are not going to cook them immediately, they will keep in the fridge for 2 days, but I wouldn’t keep them beyond that.



There are many ways to whip up these tasty treats: fried, on the half-shell, grilled, scampi. This is a scampi recipe.


  • Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a medium saucepan as well as 1/4 of a stick of butter
  • Add scallops to pan under medium heat, they should take roughly 2-3 minutes to cook
  • As the scallops cook add finely chopped garlic, I usually use about 5 cloves
  • Cook for a minute longer and add a 3-4 second pour of white wine, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio work well
  • While this is going on, your pasta should’ve been cooking in another pan (you can use any long noodle such as Angel Hair, Spaghetti or Bucatini)
  • Add your nearly cooked pasta (less 2 minutes) to the scallops as well as a few spoons of pasta cooking water and begin to agitate the pan vigorously as you would in Carbonara
  • As the sauce is coming together, add halved cherry tomatoes and mix to combine
  • Plate and top with black pepper, parsley and freshly grated cheese



Notes: Regarding cooking the pasta and thickening the sauce, see recipes from J. Kenji Lopez Alt to learn more about this topic. His pan pasta method has become my preferred method for cooking pasta as it concentrates the starch extremely well and takes the water less time to boil.

Also worthy of noting, these are bay scallops, not sea scallops. Sea scallops are much larger and will take a bit longer to cook.

I hope that you try this recipe some time or put your own twist on it!


Until next time, tight lines.

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