Seafoods 8: Scallops (江瑤柱)

海鮮單::江瑤柱
江瑤柱出寧波,治法與蚶、蟶同。其鮮脆在柱,故剖殼時多棄少取。

An open scallop, still alive, its heart beating. That delicious translucent cylindrical pillar of muscle is scooped out and sold. The rest of the scallop is much less palatable and is usually tossed. (Credit: Kevjonesin)

List of Seafoods::Scallop
Scallops[1] come from Ningbo and should be prepared in the same manner as cockles [2] and razor clams [3]. The most delicious and crisp portion of the scallop is the central “pillar”. Thus when shucking scallop, one will be throwing away most of it and keeping only this small portion.

Random notes:
[1]: The Chinese name of scallop in its dried and fresh form is jiang yaozhu, which means the “precious jade pillar of the river”; a poetic and evocative name. It is also commonly known in some Chinese languages and provinces as ganbei or conpoy, which means “dried shellfish”; a lot less poetic. The fresh scallops commonly found in Western supermarkets are delectable, but well made dried scallops are much so much richer in taste and can be mind blowingly good. The difference between the two is like eating a fresh hind-leg of pork versus a well cured Iberian ham. In short, there is no comparison.

[2] Cockles, that ridge shelled shellfish

[3] The oblong razor shell

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