How To Cut The Scallop Muscle Out Of The Shell
- Once you have cut through one side of the scallop muscle the shell will open up easily
- glide the knife as close to the shell as possible…
- use your knife and fingers to remove the adductor muscle (this muscle is the round meat in the center) peel or cut out the catch muscle (tough fiber that sticks out the side of the scallop)
*When you are buying scallops make sure they smell a little briny and fresh. They should not have any strong odor, smell offensive, or have any hint of ammonia smell. They should be moist, plump and firm. It is best to purchase scallops that are dry-packed versus wet-packed.
Dry-packed means they are chemical free. Wet-packed means the scallops have been soaked in water and a phosphate solution (a common ingredient found in cleaning solution) which is a preservative. When they are wet-packed they absorbed more water making them weigh more.
The water will leach out during the cooking process resulting in smaller scallops and they will not have a beautiful golden sear.
*Addendum: Mike Anderson, fisherman and owner of F/V Rimrack gave me a special scallop knife and showed me the tricks on removing the scallop muscles.
One of the tricks was to slice the muscle from the white or lighter (more shallow) shell first which makes a whole lot of sense. Harvesting the muscle this way makes the job much easier! Thank you, Mike!!