If you want to make pan seared scallops with a citrus glaze, you need a sear. Pale, rubbery scallops won’t do – and they will be no fun to eat.
This is where quality comes in. Wet scallops have been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), a chemical that increases their water weight and the price you pay at the market. Dry scallops are untreated. When they hit a hot pan, they don’t release a flood of locked up water and it will be easier to get that brown, caramel crust on the surface of a perfectly cooked scallop.
Dry scallops are fresh, sweet, and briny. Their flesh is translucent. And you won’t find a pool of milky white liquid around them. They tend to spoil quicker and cost more. But they’re well worth the extra price if you want to avoid scallops that are weighed down with STP and water.
To ensure you get the sear you’re looking for – salt your scallops 15 minutes before cooking in order to draw out excess moisture. Pair your pan seared scallops with something light and fresh, like Gnocchi with Pesto, Green Beans