Sea scallops are bivalve mollusks that live in the waters off the North Eastern coast of the U.S. and Canada as well as Japan. These are the larger of the two common types of scallops found in the U.S. The sea scallop averages about 1 1/2" wide. This shellfish should be lightly cooked because overcooking will make the flesh rubbery.
Find sea scallops in most well stocked grocery stores fresh or fresh frozen.
Wet scallops are caught and chemically treated to help preserve them before being shipped to their eventual marketplace. Dry scallops have not be treated. Dry scallops will have a slightly pink cast to them while the wet scallops will look white.
When you buy scallops they will be numbered something like this:
U-12, U-15 up to U-40. The "U" stands for "under". So a U-12 scallop would mean there will be under 12 scallops per pound.
If you are looking for something to substitute for scallops and you want something with similar flavor you could serve:
metric conversions →
Scallops (properly cooked) are soft and tender with a slightly sweet taste. I find the flavor similar to lobster.
I tried recipe after recipe but was never (until now) able to obtain that beautiful browned exterior and just cooked interior that makes scallops taste their best. In short you need to do the following:
Here is the complete recipe from Epicurious.
For the record I bought my wild caught U.S. scallops from Costco and they are the "dry" untreated scallops and they were excellent!