How to defrost scallops

Updated February 21, 2017

Freezing scallops locks in their natural flavour, but before cooking these delicate molluscs, you must thaw them. Scallops come in two basic sizes based on the type, and the smaller varieties thaw faster than larger sea scallops. Avoid getting into a hurry when defrosting scallops; when they are frozen, the water in their cells also freezes. If you thaw scallops too quickly, the cell walls maintaining the structure of the scallop will burst, creating a mushy mollusc.

Fill the sink with cold water.

Place the scallops in a resealable plastic bag and close it.

Submerge the scallops in the sink for one hour or until pliable. Alternatively, arrange the frozen scallops on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave them on the low or defrost setting on your microwave in one minute increments until the scallops become pliable but are still slightly icy. Larger sea scallops will take twice as long to thaw as the half-sized varieties.

Refrigerate the frozen scallops for up to 12 to 24 hours before cooking.

Cook the defrosted scallops and do not refreeze them.

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