How to Clean a Scallop

“Help! We went scalloping for the first time and harvested some scallops. How do we clean them?”

Don’t worry. We have a solution!

What you will need:
• A cleaning utensil such as a butter knife or spoon from your kitchen. Nothing sharp!
• Disposal bucket
• Food container with a tight seal

How to clean them:
1. Bay scallops will have a light and dark shell. Locate the dark shell.
2. Hold the shell in your hand with the dark shell facing upwards.
3. Insert utensil between the upper and bottom shells and pry open.
4. Locate the white, cylindrical muscle that is holding the two shells together. Detach the portion of this muscle from the top shell. This should allow you to open the scallop easily. Place this top shell into your discard bucket.
5. While holding the bottom shell, use your utensil to pull the remaining organs away from the white muscle. Place these soft tissues into your discard bucket.
6. Use your utensil to detach the white muscle from the bottom shell. Place the white meat into your tight-sealing food container.
7. Place empty bottom shell into discard bucket.

Additional tips and tricks:
Store scallops on ice and not in a bucket of water. This reduces bacteria growth and encourages the scallops to relax and open. This will make cleaning the scallops much easier at the end of a long day!

Rinse scallop meat with cool water to remove any extra dirt or debris after cleaning. Scallops are delicate. Using warm or hot water will cook the meat prematurely.

Wash utensils, hands, and containers before, during, and after cleaning scallops. This will help minimize any food-borne illnesses.

Click here for more details on how to responsibly find, clean, and store your fresh from Florida catch!


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Posted: June 9, 2022

Category: Coasts & Marine, Natural Resources, Recreation, UF/IFAS Extension, Water
Tags: Bay Scallops, Clean Scallops, Florida Sea Grant, Fresh From Florida, Seafood

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