Scallops have become a very popular seafood option. You can cook and serve them as they are or add a sauce such as lemon butter or garlic parsley butter. They are delicious served with black pudding or in pasta. Add them to gumbo or to a seafood casserole. The options are endless.
However, they can be quite expensive unless you buy them in bulk. They only keep for about two days in the fridge so what do you do if you have plenty left over? The answer is simple. You can freeze them and enjoy them at a later date, even when they are out of season. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze scallops and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Scallops
It is easy to freeze scallops as long as they are fresh. If you see any that are discolored or brown, discard them. This is the way to freeze scallops:
1. Rinse the scallops.
Rinse them in cold water to get rid of any dirt or debris. Dry them with a paper towel. You don’t want to put them in the freezer while they are still wet as ice crystals may form and the scallops will be mushy when defrosted.
2. Put the scallops in an airtight container.
Make sure that the scallops aren’t touching each other so that they don’t stick together. By doing this, you can remove the number of scallops you need and not waste any. Put a label on the container with the contents and the date frozen. You don’t want to keep the scallops in the freezer past their use-by date.
Tips For Freezing Scallops
- Choose the best scallops you can find. Don’t let the fishmonger choose them for you. You will want them to be white and shiny as this indicates that they are fresh. They’re not a cheap food option so you don’t want to have to throw any away if you can help it.
- Separate the scallops into the ones you want to eat today and the ones you want to freeze. It is best to freeze them as soon as possible. It doesn’t take long to prepare them for freezing so do this as soon as you get home. Put the others in the fridge and eat within 48 hours.
- Put the container with the scallops at the back of the fridge. If you put them in the front or in a side drawer, they can start to defrost when you open the door. This can increase the chance of bacteria forming.
For How Long Can You Freeze Scallops?
You can freeze scallops for two months. Be sure to put them in the freezer as soon as possible as they have to be eaten within two days of purchase if you keep them in the fridge. After this time, they begin to spoil. Because of this, freezing is the best way of preserving scallops.
How Do You Defrost Scallops
Scallops need to be defrosted slowly. Don’t just put them on your countertop and allow them to defrost quickly at room temperature as this is an open invitation for bacteria to form. The scallops will spoil, and you risk becoming sick. Instead, put them in the fridge the night before you want to eat them and allow them to thaw slowly. This goes for all seafood (see also How To Freeze Crab).
Can You Refreeze Scallops?
You should only freeze scallops once. If you freeze, defrost, and refreeze, ice crystals can start to form, and the scallops will end up mushy when they are thawed for the second time. It also increases the risk of bacteria forming. Ensure that the scallops are frozen without them touching each other. By doing this, they won’t stick to each other and you can remove only the number of scallops you need. This will avoid the need to refreeze leftovers. If you don’t use them all, it is best to throw them away to avoid spoilage.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Scallops?
Scallops, like most seafood, freeze very well (see also How To Freeze Cooked Fish Safely). Because they have such a short shelf-life in the fridge, freezing is a great way of storing your scallops. Just remember to freeze the scallops you don’t intend to use immediately as soon as you get home. This decreases the chance of them spoiling. If you keep them in the fridge for too long they will start to discolor and you will have to throw them away to avoid getting food poisoning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing scallops but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
What exactly is a scallop?
A scallop is a bivalve mollusk with a rib-shaped shell. They swim by opening and closing the shell valves. They are related to clams, mussels, and oysters.
Do scallops need seasoning before cooking?
Yes, it is best to put salt and pepper on your scallops before cooking them otherwise they can be a little bland.
Does freezing scallops ruin them?
No, not at all. Scallops freeze well and you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between fresh and thawed scallops.
Why should you wash scallops before freezing them?
Scallops can have a bit of residue on them, so it is a good idea to give them a rinse. You really don’t want to freeze them with dirt as it can ruin the texture of the scallops during the freezing process.
What can I serve scallops with?
If you are serving scallops as an appetizer, a sauce and a green salad are sufficient. A lemon garlic sauce is delicious as is a lemon and herb sauce. Use such herbs as tarragon, thyme, and parsley. Alternatively, you could wrap the scallops in bacon. If you are having scallops as a main course, parmesan risotto is a good match as are mashed potatoes with tarragon sauce. Scallops also go well with pasta. Try a seafood tagliatelle with scallops, shrimps, and a garlic cream sauce.