Post was Updated on June 30, 2022
Wondering if you can eat undercooked or even raw scallops? As there are some details that should be taken into consideration, let’s find out what you should pay attention to when you want to serve a plate with undercooked or even raw scallops.
Eating raw scallops and other seafood is an open subject for a while. Somebody says that you can eat them, others don’t try anything that wasn’t cooked on a pan or in the oven.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with raw products as soon as I know that they are fresh and properly stored.
But let’s get more into details.
Can You Eat Undercooked Scallops?
Yes, you can eat undercooked scallops if they are high quality and you are sure that the scallops are fresh. Otherwise, you may risk getting poisoned as the scallops can go very quickly bad.
Also, many prefer to undercook scallops as the center of scallops will remain raw, you will get a nice contrast between the texture of the cooked edges and the raw center of the scallops.
Can You Eat Raw Scallops?
If you are sure that the scallops are fresh and properly stored, you can eat the scallops without cooking them. They have a more delicate and fresh taste. The raw scallops are incredible. You will find a lot of gourmands that will say that you should enjoy the seafood raw because only in that way you will feel their real taste of the sea freshness.
A few ideas to enjoy the raw scallops will be to serve them in a carpaccio (the most popular variant of serving raw scallops), in a tartare, or in sushi.
Quick Note: I will recommend eating them fresh only if you can take them from your local fish store where you know that a few hours back the scallops were in the sea.
Personally, I prefer eating them with only a little bit of lemon juice and maybe a pinch of crunchy salt. Others eat raw scallops as is, without any additional ingredients.
Quick Note: If you will want to experiment with seasoning the raw scallops, just keep in mind not to overdo with the spices as the scallops have a thin taste and you may cover them with other spices or aromatic herbs very easily.
What Are the Benefits of Eating the Scallops Raw?
Personally, I prefer them raw to feel their thin texture and taste. After you cook the scallops, they will become nuttier and will get a buttery flavor.
Also, while cooking, it is very easy to overcook them so you may risk getting some rubbery scallops.
Regarding the health benefits, it is not a secret that during the cooking a few of the nutrients will get killed, so because of that the raw scallops also will be better for your health than the cooked ones.
Quick Note: This is true only if you are eating fresh scallops. If the scallops weren’t stored properly, they may harm you more than give you additional nutrients.
Why Is It Risky to Eat Raw Scallops?
Scallops and seafood, in general, can go bad very easily if they are not stored in the right conditions. Because of that, I recommend eating the raw scallops only if you are 100% sure that the scallops are fresh and weren’t frozen.
Pro Tip: If you bought a package of frozen scallops, it is not recommended to eat them raw after you thaw them as there is a high risk of growing bacteria.
How to Tell if Scallops Are Fresh?
Fish and other seafood have a short period of time when they are fresh and they are safe to eat raw. So, it is important to know if they are still fresh or if it is better to enjoy them only after you cook them.
First of all, make sure that the scallops are still alive. If the scallops will be slightly opened, when you touch them, the scallops should close quickly.
The scallops also should have a fresh and pleasant smell. Besides the smell, the scallops also should have a firm texture and a light white or light pink color.
If you see that something went wrong, it is better to avoid such scallops. One of the most widespread problems is a fishy smell from them. It says that they are getting spoiled. Fresh scallops almost have no smell. They are quite neutral.
How to Store Scallops?
Storing scallops is as easy as any other product. Make sure that they are not in direct contact with sunlight and it will be better to put them in the fridge as soon as you come home.
If you just buy the scallops fresh, it is recommended to cook them within 1-2 hours if you want to get the sea freshness taste.
Attention! Don’t leave them on the table for a longer period of time as they can be spoiled quite soon.
If you plan to eat the cooked scallops, then you can keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days. The shorter this period will be, the better taste you will get in the end. Personally, I cook them only on the day of the purchase.
How to Clean Scallops Before Cooking?
There are several steps that must be done before cooking scallops. First of all, they must be carefully cleaned. Do these steps to get them ready for cooking.
First of all, you should open the scallop. It is recommended to put the scallops on a few cubes of ice before opening. In that way, you will open them easier.
Use a shucking knife to help you to open the shells. Clean the scallops by removing all the dark parts, skirt, and black stomach sack inside the shell. The only thing that can be left is the muscle.
Take the scallops off the shell.
Wash the opened scallops underwater for about 30 seconds. Remove all the side muscles that might be left. Wash it again after removing all the unnecessary parts.
How to Know When Scallops Are Done?
It takes very little time to cook scallops. Just a couple of minutes will be enough to get them ready. There are some things that must be known and pay attention to when you will cook the scallops.
When you are cooking scallops, first of all, you need to pay attention to their color. When they get a golden or brown color, it means that they are almost ready. Only a moment is necessary to get them out.
They must be the same color on both sides.
If you cook the scallops for too long, they will become chewy and unpleasant to eat.
Undercooked scallops look a bit different. They are pink or white, it depends on the level of their undercooking. The texture of the seafood is also different when it is overcooked or undercooked. It is usually soft and bouncy when it is underdone.
If you are sure about the provenance of the scallops, and you are sure that they are fresh and properly stored, then you can enjoy them uncooked or even eat them raw with a little bit of lemon juice and crunchy salt.