How to Clean Scallops

by Sabah Karimi ; Updated September 28, 2017

Scallops can be served as both an appetizer or entree, and buying fresh scallops will give you the most flavorful dish. Even when you buy scallops from the supermarket, you'll need to clean them thoroughly before cooking them to perfection. Here are the simple steps to clean scallops and prepare them for your favorite recipe.

Open up the shell. Begin the shucking process by inserting a knife into the side of the shell to pry it open. Set one side of the shell aside.

Release the scallop from the shell. Carefully slide the knife under the meat of the scallop to remove it from the shell. The meat should slide out easily.

Transfer the scallop meat to the plate. Carefully move the scallop meat from the shell and set it on the plate.

Remove the dark meat. Discard the dark meat from the scallop, leaving the white flesh intact.

Remove the muscle from the scallop. This small piece of flesh can be found near the edge of the scallop; carefully remove it from the main section before preparing your recipe.

Rinse the scallop. Gently rinse the scallop under cold water and set on small plate. Now the scallop is clean and ready for cooking.


  • Leaving the roe attached to the scallop makes it a delicacy. Shop for scallops at your local fish market. Removing scallops from the shell is also called 'shucking.' It's not always easy to find scallops still in their shell.

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About the Author

Sabah Karimi is a professional Web and print copywriter. She specializes in several niches including travel, fashion, beauty, health, fitness, lifestyle and small business. Karimi has an educational background in business administration and marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.