Scallops are way more than just delicious shellfish; they can be part of a seafood lover’s diet for the many beneficial factors they have. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that can balance your cholesterol levels, reducing heart disease risk.
Their high magnesium content also helps to increase heart health. Scallops are also rich in vitamin B-12 and zinc, giving the proper nutrients into your nervous system development and brain health.
Already sounds jammed packed with reasons to eat them, right? But wait, there’s more!
Scallops are an excellent source of protein and can even help promote weight loss since they are low in fat. If I haven’t convinced you yet, women can eat scallops while pregnant as it is the “best” choice seafood to consume during your pregnancy.
Do I even need to go on?
Given how great they are, it can be tempting to really stock up on fresh scallops. But what can you do if you have more than you’re able to eat before they go bad? Can you freeze scallops? Great news, you can!
For my fellow scallop-lovers, I’m going to make sure you get the best use out of these healthy bivalves. Let’s take a look at how you can make the scallop a longer-lasting staple in your home to enjoy (and reap) all the benefits.
How Long Do Scallops Last?
Fresh scallops don’t last long, and they should not be stored in the fridge for more than two days. If you’re planning on buying them at your local store, they ideally should be cooled within one day from picking them up.
However, be sure to store them directly into the fridge after purchase and don’t leave them out on the counter for too long. You’ll want to keep your scallops under a temperature of forty degrees Fahrenheit.
You don’t need a fish smell lingering in your home, trust me on that one.
Pro tip: place them in a plastic bag as well to prevent any leakage so it won’t contaminate any other foods.
Can You Freeze Scallops?
If you bought scallops and totally forgot you had dinner plans with friends on the same night you were supposed to cook them, don’t panic! Scallops may not have emotions, but they understand life gets in the way and are pretty forgiving.
They actually freeze very well and can be stored in the freezer if you are not cooking them within two days of the purchase, giving you more opportunities to hold onto the scallops for a longer span, and allowing you to go out for the night.
How to Freeze Scallops
What you’re going to want to do is seal the scallops tightly in a Ziploc freezer bag or airtight container. You must ensure that there’s little to no air coming out of it.
This may sound extreme, but one of the best methods to remove air is to get a straw and suck the air out of the plastic bag or airtight container you’re using. This may be from personal experience, but trust me it works wonders! Removing the air like this helps to prevent freezer burn and ensure your scallops stay delicious.
Once all the air is out of there, seal the container and label it with the contents and today’s date. Trust me, it’s always worth knowing exactly how long they’ve been in the freezer. Finally, stick the bag in the coldest part of the freezer so you know they’re tucked away until you’re ready for them.
How Long Do Scallops Last in the Freezer?
If they are stored properly (and yes, I am still recommending the straw trick) frozen scallops will last anywhere between three to six months, which is great if you’re forgetful and don’t have a craving for scallops any time soon. However, if you are just terrible at looking in your freezer and have accidentally buried your scallops in the corner underneath all those frozen dinners, they will remain safe beyond this time frame.
How to Thaw Scallops
You finally remember you have scallops in the freezer that you’d like to prepare. Do not, I repeat do NOT assume you’re going to take them out of the freezer and cook them that night.
I don’t know about you, but I’m suddenly having flashbacks to all the times my mom told me to take frozen food out of the freezer before she got home and I never did. It was pure panic.
With that being said, be fully aware that you’ll need to put your scallops back in the fridge (fully wrapped) for at least a day before you can use them in order for them to thaw properly.
Sometimes it can take two days, so have patience!
If you don’t have patience, you can always thaw scallops in the microwave or in cold water, but then those need to be cooked immediately.
How to Use Scallops After Freezing
Scallops are so versatile in dishes, which is one of the main reasons I love them. However, they should typically be seared golden-brown and the sides should look opaque all the way through to ensure they’re cooked. The scallops should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly soft. Or else they become chewy and tough, and no one needs a gum-consistency when trying to eat a meal.
You can bake, broil, cook, oil, or sauté them. After you thaw scallops, be sure to drain them well to remove any excess water or moisture. A wet scallop won’t get a good sear.
Once all drained, heat your oil over high heat in a nonstick skillet and flip when one side gets that golden-brown color. Then, go ahead and choose the recipes for more flavors and dishes.
Can You Freeze Scallops Twice?
Oh no, you took the scallops out for dinner but you decided you’re too lazy to cook them after a long work day (totally understandable, honestly). But if you took them out of the freezer, can you refreeze thawed scallops?
The answer is, yes, you can freeze thawed scallops as long as you kept them in the fridge since the moment you took them out of the freezer. However, there may be a loss of quality in the scallops because you’ll be losing moisture from the thawing.
Can You Freeze Scallop Roe?
The roe of a scallop is the reproductive organ of the scallop. When it’s shucked, you’ll notice it’s the coral/off-white colored stuff you’ll see attached. Since the roe is very delicate and softens while frozen, you cannot freeze it. You can try, but as it thaws, the roe becomes very mushy and water, therefore you probably wouldn’t succeed. Processors tend to remove it before freezing as well for this particular reason.
Can You Freeze Fried Scallop?
Although you can technically freeze scallops, it’s recommended that you don’t because it will lose so much flavor.
Think about how crispy and delicious a fried scallop is. Like any other well-fried food, there’s a beautiful, crunchy coating that surrounds the food itself. This batter is best to be tasted fresh out of the fryer.
If you freeze that fried scallop, it’s not going to remain crispy or crunchy. The oil will seep through into the scallops and taste bland. It will be soggy and sad. Very sad. But since you can freeze it and I can’t tell you what to do, that’s a personal choice.
How Can You Tell if Scallops Have Gone Bad?
If you forgot to freeze your scallops and you’re on the cusp of wasting your money on fresh scallops, make sure the scallops have gone bad before throwing them away.
So how do you spot a bad scallop? The best methods are by smelling them and looking at them.
If the scallops have a sour smell and look like they’re dull in color, then they’ve gone rogue.
Another way to ensure you’ve wasted a good scallop is by feeling it to see if it has a slimy texture. The same typically goes for other meats like chicken. So, if you’ve experienced a foul-smelling meat product before, you’ll know when it’s time to discard the scallops.