You can easily find scallops that are already prepared, removed from the shell and ready for you to cook. But if you’re buying scallops in the shell and not looking to cook them in the shell. here is the simple method you can use to remove them from their shell.
Scallops should still be alive when you buy them in the shell. The shells should be closed, or close when tapped. Once shucked, keep scallops in a damp towel in the fridge for no longer than 24 hours.
- Hold the scallop in your hand, flat side up and curved side in your palm.
- Slide a short and sharp knife into the shell and twist until the hinge breaks.
- To release the meat, slide the knife down the flat side. Open and use a spoon to get the meat from the other side of the shell. Cut the white muscle holding the meat and it should come easily.
- Hold the scallop in your hand and locate the white muscle. Slide your free hand’s thumb between the muscle and the meat, being careful not to tear the flesh.
- Pull the skirt from the scallops and discard. Wash the scallop quickly in iced water so any residue can be removed.
- Dry on a clean tea towel.
Below is a video from Atelier Des Chefs UK showing one technique: