Scallops, Sea

scientific name:

Placopecten magellanicus, Chlamys islandica,  Pecten caurinus, Pecten yessoensis

Sea scallops are bivalve mollusks with a distinct “eye” or abductor muscle, which is the part of the scallop that is eaten. The eye is surrounded by organs and a skirt ringed with small, black dots, which are actually the true eyes of the scallop. The sea scallop has reddish-brown or tan upper shells and a pinkish-white lower shells. The meat is pearly white and shiny and cooks up white.

There are two categories of scallops: natural, dry scallops which have no chemicals or water added to them, and “wet” or “processed” scallops which have been soaked or dipped in sodium tripoly phosphate (STP) to reduce drip loss, maintain texture, and whiten the meat. The STP also adds water weight to the scallops. In the past several years, water-added scallops have become the predominant product form due to their affordability. However, dry scallops are superior in quality and thus command a higher price.

Product pdf for download
  • Per 3.5 oz (100g) raw, edible portion

  • Calories 87

  • Calories from Fat 7

  • Total Fat 0.8g

  • Saturated Fat 0.01g

  • Cholesterol 36mg

  • Sodium 87mg

  • Total Carbohydrates 0g

  • Protein 16.2g.

  • Potassium 412mg


Sea scallops are firm and lean.

Quality Control

Fresh scallops have an odor unique to scallops. However, all scallops, especially dry-packed scallops, have a tendency to smell “gassy” when the packing container is opened. These gases are natural and do not indicate spoiled product. Dry scallops can have a significant “gassy” odor, while wet or processed scallops may have a milder “gassy” odor. The texture of the muscle should always be moist and firm. Raw scallops should be kept cold and be prepared on clean surfaces.


Sea scallops are best steamed, baked, braised, broiled, sautéed, grilled, deep-fried, or stir-fried. They are also excellent additions to soups or pasta dishes.

Interesting Fact

The shell of the sea scallop is familiar to many, as the Shell™ gas station symbol resembles the shape of the scallop.


Bay scallops.


Sea scallops are harvested in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the largest landings occurring on or near the Georges Bank fishing grounds in the Northeast Atlantic. They are also harvested in Iceland, Alaska, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, and Japan.

Harvest Method

Harvested by dredgers, scallops are shucked on-board where everything but the abductor muscle is discarded.

Harvest season

Sea scallops are available year-round and are subject to quotas.


Sea scallops have a briny and mild flavor.

Market Segments

Sea scallops are appropriate for casual dining, fine dining, hotels, and resort/club markets.