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Old 12-31-2020, 02:20 AM   #1
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Dry Scallops

Frozen scallops at Costco cost $22/lb. $15/lb at Kroger. There is a big difference, and its not the price. Costco sells "dry" scallops no added salt water. Kroger sells "wet" scallops 25% by weight added salt water. Costco's are also larger, another cost raiser. Wet scallops kind of taste like scallops, but not as much as do dry scallops. The big difference is you cannon brown wets without terrible overcooking them. Dry's brown in 2-3 minutes-- no flour needed. A browned dry scallop is what its all about flavor-wise.

Kroger, like most super markets, does not admit they sell watered down scallops unless you buy a 5 lb unopened bag from the supply room which says 25% added liquid. Kroger lies about their scallops. Went in the Kroger one day and saw a sign that said "Dry Scallops $14.99/lb" Being suspicious, I asked the fish monger, "are those really dry scallops. I was assured they were . That was two Kroger lies. They were regular priced "wets" .

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Old 12-31-2020, 09:34 AM   #2
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Well, I guess that's an eye-opener. I just checked my packages of scallops, all frozen, none of them say 'wet or dry' - ingredients are listed as 'scallops' nothing else. We do have Costco, but I don't have a membership and we don't have Kroger here.

My shrimps, also don't say 'wet or dry' but one package does say 'shrimp, salt, sodium phosphate'

All are frozen, so of course, when defrosted one must make sure they are well patted and dried (I use paper towels). I've never had a problem with scallops not browning quickly like they should.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:20 AM   #3
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I was just talking last night, with a friend, about scallops, as well as other foods, and the way they are pumping water into them, so to speak, so they can get more for them. Almost all scallops in supermarkets these days are "wet", and chicken and pork are getting more and more common this way, often labeled "seasoned". They use it partly to preserve it, for longer shelf life, but mainly so they can charge us for water! Almost every pack of chicken and pork in Aldi that I see is this wet meat, which is why I stopped buying their meat. I have not yet seen beef this way yet, but give them time - it will be out there.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:28 AM   #4
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I love Costco but our Costco does not have dry scallops? I don't think?
They have frozen scallops. Are frozen wet or dry?
Most years, not this year, Costco has a seafood display. They have scallops on that display. Are these wet or dry?
Also when I am ready to use scallops, I dry them well in paper towels and find it takes quite a few of them. So I am guessing these are wet scallops.
So is the fish wet as I must dry it very well too?
I dry them. Put them on a towel and allow to dry in the fridge for a couple days if I have time.
I have always heard dry scallops are the best. I wonder who has them?
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:17 AM   #5
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I was just talking last night, with a friend, about scallops, as well as other foods, and the way they are pumping water into them, so to speak, so they can get more for them. Almost all scallops in supermarkets these days are "wet", and chicken and pork are getting more and more common this way, often labeled "seasoned". They use it partly to preserve it, for longer shelf life, but mainly so they can charge us for water! Almost every pack of chicken and pork in Aldi that I see is this wet meat, which is why I stopped buying their meat. I have not yet seen beef this way yet, but give them time - it will be out there.
Do you *know* it's because they can charge more, or do you *suspect* that's why?

I think they add salt water to these products to help prevent overcooking - it's basically brining them.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:23 AM   #6
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I love Costco but our Costco does not have dry scallops? I don't think?
They have frozen scallops. Are frozen wet or dry?
They can be either, depending on the source.

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So is the fish wet as I must dry it very well too?
I've never heard of fish being treated this way.

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I have always heard dry scallops are the best. I wonder who has them?
Lots of the best quality ingredients go to restaurants. Small, independent seafood shops, and high-end grocery stores have dry-pack scallops and they're quite expensive. Once, I called the one near me to see if he had any. He told me he was expecting a delivery that afternoon from somewhere in the Northeast and he put some aside for me. They were being trucked down here to southeastern Virginia, fresh from the boat.
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:45 PM   #7
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Sauteed scallops take 4-6 minutes to cook. Wets won’t brown. Dry will nicely brown and develop a flavor you never get with wet. Cook 4 minutes, turn over, cook 2 minutes (less total time if you like semi raw sea food).
In such a short cooking time, wet do not fry. They are self steaming as the excess water added to them cooks out, leaving a puddle in the pot.
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:54 PM   #8
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The restaurant supply place we go to occasionally has them still in the shells. They also have dry pack, just the scallops, in their fresh seafood case quite a lot. We've found they are some of the sweetest scallops around and make crudos, as well as sear them.
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Old 01-01-2021, 11:04 AM   #9
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Sauteed scallops take 4-6 minutes to cook. Wets won’t brown. Dry will nicely brown and develop a flavor you never get with wet. Cook 4 minutes, turn over, cook 2 minutes (less total time if you like semi raw sea food).
In such a short cooking time, wet do not fry. They are self steaming as the excess water added to them cooks out, leaving a puddle in the pot.
Wet scallops can be dried before cooking can't they?
I know the scallops I get wet or dry can easily be browned.
I always dry anything well before cooking. I dry the scallops over a flour sack towel in the fridge for a few hours.
I then heat up a pan very very hot. Add a little oil and saute them until brown on both sides.
About a minute or two max on each side. 4-6 minutes doing it my way would burn them.
Besides scallops should not be over cooked and for me the best way is a little under cooked.

GG. When I buy frozen fish after thawing they loose lots of water. I made two 4oz cod fillets last night and I am guessing there was close to a 1/4 cup of water that I had to get out of them.
I have to roll them up in a towel and allow to sit for awhile in the fridge before I would even try to cook them.
They may not add this water or maybe they do? I don't know. But it is considerable.
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Old 01-01-2021, 11:47 AM   #10
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When protein such as meat, poultry or fish is exposed to high heat in a hot skillet, its cells contract, squeezing out moisture.

When proteins are frozen, cells are damaged in the freezing and thawing process also causing a release of moisture.

This will occur to an extent even if the food has not had a liquid added to it.
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Old 01-01-2021, 02:40 PM   #11
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Andy M is right in noting that frozen isn’t as good as fresh, but we don’t get much fresh seafood in Utah. Also, the loss of water caused by freezing and frying is not enough to stop large dry sea scallops from browning, which cannot be done with wet either fresh or frozen
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Old 01-01-2021, 05:50 PM   #12
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A local grocery chain used to sell "scallop pieces" at one time. Although I can buy fresh, dry scallops at a reasonable price, I would get those if I was making a dish with the scallops mixed in rather than the featured protein. Those did show the sodium additive as an ingredient. After defrosting and rinsing, I would layer them between paper towels to blot the water. I never had a problem getting them to brown.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:31 PM   #13
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There is a lot of both information and misinformation in this thread. When they harvest scallops and either sell them as is or freeze them, with no chemical treatment, they are called dry scallops. If they are treated with phosphates, usually sodium tripolyphospate, they are referred to as wet scallops.

The STTP is a preservative, and as a side effect, makes them retain excess water, thus, the designation *wet*. Many people sense a difference in the taste of treated scallops. America's Test Kitchen did an article on how to remove the taste of the phosphates.

Most, but not all, of the scallops we buy are wet. Depending on where you live and where you shop, you may find true dry scallops. Dry scallops do sear better, but wet scallops can still be seared somewhat. Many folks don't notice the difference in taste, but some do. It all depends on what you're used to.

Some folks believe that the phosphates are use to preserve the scallops and give them a longer shelf life for the retailer an the consumer. Others believe that it is done to pump up the water weight, and therefore increase the profits. The truth is probably a combination, but I'm not the judge.

I buy dry whenever I can get them. Personally, I notice the difference, and I like the sear. But, depending on where you live, you may not have a choice. I love scallops any way I can get them
YMMV.
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:58 AM   #14
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Thanks Silversage.
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Old 01-04-2021, 10:13 AM   #15
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Sorry but "YMMV"? Not sure what that stands for
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Old 01-04-2021, 10:51 AM   #16
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your mileage may vary?
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Old 01-04-2021, 11:24 AM   #17
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your mileage may vary?
Yup, that's what YMMV stands for.
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Old 01-04-2021, 02:31 PM   #18
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Thanks. I knew that one but didn't think that matched the statement. Oh well LOL
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