“Yaozhu,” or dried scallops, is a dry good delicacy made from the adductor muscle of various shellfish species. Scallops are typically cylindrically shaped with a light, salty taste that rivals more costly seafood delicacies such as sea cucumbers and abalones. A great way to cook scallops is in porridge, where the savory flavor of the shellfish infuses into the rice for an unforgettable seafood experience!
In this article, I will explore two different methods for using dried scallops: classic porridge and rice. Both methods have unique and distinct flavors, offering a completely different experience.
Scallops are a type of shellfish that belong to the bivalve mollusk family and are often found in the ocean. They have a round body with a hard, two-part shell that they use to protect themselves.
The inside of the scallop’s body is made up of three main parts: a digestive gland, a gonad, and an adductor muscle. The adductor muscle is a long, white cylinder in the middle of the scallop’s body that helps it open and close its shell.
The gonad is a soft, crescent-shaped organ next to the adductor muscle. In male scallops, the gonad is off-white in color, while in female scallops it is orange-red.
When selecting scallops, ensure you choose ones with intact grains that are dry and aromatic. Opt for short and cylindrical scallops with firm, full meat that appears both dry and hard to the touch. Fresh scallops should appear golden in color – though a slight layer of moisture on their surface can signal they have been dried for an extended period (ideal for soups or porridges!).
To store dried scallops, it is best to keep them in a sealed container in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated place. For a longer storage period, you can seal them and store them in the freezer. When stored correctly, dried scallops have an impressive shelf-life of over one year!
How To Make Scallop Porridge
Dried Scallops Porridge
- Dried scallops
- Sea rice (optional)
- Green onion
- Sea salt
- Begin by slicing the ginger and dicing the green onion. Then rinse your rice, scallops, and sea rice (if using). Then allow the ingredients to marinate in some water with ginger for two hours.
- Boil the water used to soak the rice, scallops, and sea rice in a pot, adding just enough additional liquid to cover all of your ingredients.
- Add the rice to the pot and cover it. Simmer it on low heat for 40 minutes.
- Take the pot lid off and add some oil. Cook and stir for 5 minutes on high heat until the rice starts to look fluffy. The porridge should be fragrant and beautiful at this point.
- Throw in the scallops, dried shrimps and shredded ginger. Pop a lid on top of your pot and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks.
- Season the porridge with sea salt to taste.
- Serve the porridge in bowls and garnish with chopped pepper and green onion.
Scallops have several health benefits:
Boost your immune system: Packed full of protein, carbohydrates, riboflavin and numerous necessary trace elements for the body’s health, these tasty morsels can help to strengthen your defenses against illness. If you find yourself frequently feeling rundown or cold-prone, adding in some regular servings of scallops could be just what you need to stay healthy and strong.
Regulating blood lipids: The unsaturated fatty acids found in scallops can improve fat metabolism in the body and lower blood viscosity. If you’re struggling with high cholesterol or triglycerides, adding scallops to your diet could help minimize the risk of thrombosis and lead to improved overall health.
If you suffer from spleen and stomach deficiency or malnutrition, consider adding scallops to your diet. However, remember that moderation is key; kids and people with high blood pressure should especially be aware of not overindulging as it can have negative repercussions on your body’s wellbeing. For overall health benefits, strive for a light diet rich in nutrients while steering away from foods that trigger irritation.
- Dried scallops are often rehydrated before using them in cooking. To do this, soak them in warm water for about 20-30 minutes, or until they are plump and soft.
- Dried scallops can transform your dishes from delicious to extraordinary. They serve as a flavorful seasoning rather than the star of the show, adding unique layers and complexity to soups, sauces, and more!
- Dried scallops are a good source of protein, iron, and other minerals. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy choice for those trying to maintain a balanced diet.
- To maintain the optimal freshness of dried scallops, it is best to store them in a dry and cool environment away from direct sunlight. An airtight container or bag can keep these delectable seafood treats edible for an extended period – sometimes even months! – as long as proper storage conditions are met.
Q: Can pregnant women eat scallops?
A: Pregnant women can safely eat scallops in moderation. Dried scallops contain a high amount of amino acids, trace elements, and other nutrients that are essential for the human body. Consuming dried scallops can benefit expecting mothers with essential nutrients, better body functioning, and improved overall health.
Q: How to store scallops?
There are several ways to store scallops to maintain their freshness and flavor:
- Keeping scallops in the refrigerator is an easy and quick way to store them, but they will only remain fresh for a maximum of 2-3 days.
- Storing scallops in the refrigerator in an airtight bag can help extend their shelf life.
- For centuries, drying scallops has been an efficient way to preserve them for extended periods. Fishermen on the coastline frequently take advantage of this.
- Vacuum preservation is an efficient way to ensure that your scallops stay fresh, as it eliminates air and hinders spoilage. This method of storage prevents oxidation too.
- Oven-dehydrating scallops is an efficient method for mass production in commercial factories.