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Scallops

are marine bivalve molluscs. The two shells are different shapes - the top one is deeper, the bottom one is flatter. We sell them out of the shell.

You can buy two types of scallops at The Smelly Alley Fish Company. King scallops are bigger, they live in open water, and queen scallops, which are smaller, live in more sheltered water.

Our king scallops are fresh, from Shetland. We think king scallops are the better of the two, one of the most popular shellfish, and they’re so quick and easy to cook. We usually sell our king scallops with the roe on, the combination of the scallop flesh and the orange coral looks great on the plate. Our queen scallops are frozen and are best cooked with a sauce, for example in a pasta dish.

Scallops have a cream to buff colour. Our king scallops are called "dry” scallops, meaning they have no added water. If you see very white scallops for sale it is likely that they have added water, they are not recommended as you will be paying for water. Scallops smell slightly sweet when fresh.

Scallops need minimal cooking so don’t overcook them. Medium heat under a frying pan or griddle is fine, so that they don’t dry out. Oil the pan, then two minutes on one side, turn and then one minute on the other side will probably be enough. They give off some water when cooked. 

Traditionally scallops are served with fried or grilled black pudding or bacon, but they are great served on their own. Serve with some green salad leaves and a lime or lemon quarter. Coriander or parsley sprinkled over looks good, but they are equally fine without. Check out this recipe for scallops.

You can buy scallop shells here too! We get quite a few requests for shells, both for serving seafood (for dishes such as coquilles st jacques), and for pilgrims who wear them on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.

There are more shellfish recipes, or go back to our home page.