Can You Eat Scallops Raw? Surprising Things You Never Knew

Can you eat scallops raw?

The simple answer to this is YES. But… There are some things you need to do to make sure that you maximize the health benefits from it.

In fact, raw scallops are incredible – not just simply edible. They possess a natural sweetness that your tastebuds will adore. And of course, there are many recipes for raw scallops to try whether it is sushi, crudo, tartare, and so on. Just pop a scallop in your mouth, and it melts nicely… Just like candy!

But then again, there are certain things to look for when it comes to buying raw scallops. You want to be sure that they are indeed safe to eat, so you can steer clear off health hazards.

Here is everything you need to know about eating raw scallops – how to buy, store, prepare, and eat them the right way. Let’s get started.

Eating Raw Scallops – Know How To Buy

When eating raw scallops, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For instance, there is such a thing as dry or day boat scallops. Sea scallops are typically caught by larger boats, and these can typically last for a couple of weeks.

But do take note that the length of time scallops are stored, there is a risk of diluting the flavor. This happens once ice melts and the scallops end up absorbing excess water. So, the flavor is just not as good as how you want it to be.

Moreover, once the scallops have reached land, there are other factors that come into play. Some processors soak these scallops another time, usually in sodium tripolyphosphate. This preservative causes scallops to take in more water. Thus, they end up weighing more all because of extra water.

can you eat scallops raw

As for buyers, they pay more for the extra weight not from the meat but from the water sucked up by the scallops.

Additionally, there is an impact on the flavor and overall quality of the scallops. Instead of it being full of mildly sweet flavor, it becomes rather briny and not at all how you like it to be.

With this in mind, you should only trust reliable scallop sellers. You want to make sure they are not selling very old or chemical-laden scallops that are packed with excess water. This way, the quality is most certainly what you are looking for.

We recommend that you purchase dry scallops. They are more expensive per pound, as compared to chemical-soaked ones. However, the taste and overall quality are incomparable and worth the money.

Sometimes, cooking scallops tend to mask the flaws. But if you plan on eating raw scallops, then you should definitely choose your source well. By doing so, you can eat it raw and enjoy the finest flavor it possesses.

Can You Eat Raw Scallops When Pregnant

We all know that scallops are healthy for you because of the minerals they contain.

But can you eat raw scallops when pregnant?

There is the idea that pregnant women “eat for two.” Hence, you want to be sure that the foods you eat are indeed safe for you and your unborn child.

If you love seafood, you need to make sure you are eating ones that are bacteria-free. After all, seafoods are good for pregnant women because of the nutrients they contain. But be sure they are cooked well.

Unfortunately, pregnant women should stay away from eating raw scallops because of the risk of bacteria in them. You should opt to consume scallops cooked properly, specifically heated at over 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This way, you can get the protein component of scallops without the nasty elements that may be in raw ones.

can you eat raw scallops when pregnant

However, when at a restaurant, it is best to avoid pan-seared scallops. This is because the scallops are only cooked quickly for about a minute or two on very high heat. Thus, the insides are still quite raw.

As a pregnant woman, it is best to stay away from raw seafood to stay on the safe side.

Furthermore, you should avoid buying scallops sourced from contaminated water. The risk is simply not worth it, whether you plan to eat it cooked or raw.

Generally, scallops are rich in omega 3-fatty acids and vitamin B12 that are necessary for your child’s proper brain development. However, if you eat the bad kind, then there are far greater health risks that await you and your baby.

So, you need to cook scallops and use them as soon as possible. Rinse in cold water, pat dry, then your scallops should be ready to cook.

Either bake or grill the scallops instead of pan-searing them. The longer you cook them, the safer they are to eat. Overcooking will make them tough, so be sure to cook them just right.

It is also important to note that some people develop allergies when eating seafood. These include nausea, itchy skin, hives, runny nose, and coughing. If you notice any of these symptoms, then it is best to avoid scallops completely to prevent more serious health problems.

How To Prepare Raw Scallops

Now that you know more about the different kinds of scallops, as well as the ways to prepare them safely, then it may be worth learning more about ways to prepare raw scallops.

Pregnant women should eat scallops cooked but otherwise, you can safely eat these without any problem.

You just need to make sure that you buy from a trustworthy seller that offers high-quality scallops from reliable sources.

Here are among the few steps to keep in mind when preparing raw scallops:

  1. Pry the scallops open using an oyster shucking knife.
  2. Turn your scallop over and gently run a fish filleting knife right over the shell’s flat side. This should release the meat one you have opened the shell completely. You can also use your spoon to carefully release it from the bottom portion of the shell.
  3. Pull the frill off and the stomach sack, as well as other pieces right around the meat portion. Discard these pieces and leave only the coral and white flesh.
  4. Run the scallop in cold water thoroughly to rinse it some more.
  5. Season with salt or cook as you wish.

When you prepare scallops, you need to make sure that the shell remains tightly shut. This way, you can tell if the scallop is still safe for you to eat.

If you wish to store the scallops in the fridge, do so by storing the rounded side facing down. Do not keep longer than a week or so.

Raw Scallops Recipe

raw scallops recipe

Are you a huge fan of eating raw scallops? If so, then you are in luck – we have just the perfect raw scallops recipe that your tastebuds will love!

This particular recipe features a citrus-gingery flavor that you will love.


3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 chile, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and grated finely
¾ teaspoon rice vinegar
½ pound sea scallops, sliced thinly cross-wise and with side muscles discarded
¼ cup mint leaves
Sea salt


Whisk all liquid ingredients including the chile and ginger. Pour onto large plates and arrange the raw scallops over. Add some mint leaves to garnish and season with salt.

Crudo Recipe for Raw Scallops

crudo recipe for raw scallops

Another way to prepare raw scallops is the infamous crudo recipe.

Basically, you prepare it raw – so it’s fast, easy, simple, and satisfying. You can easily make it in as little as 10 minutes by simply using a marinade to enhance the scallop’s natural sweetness.

For the marinade, you only need a few ingredients such as soy sauce, olive oil, ginger paste, rice vinegar, and lime juice. That’s all! Then, you can add in the scallops and let them marinade in the goodness of the sauce.

The result is an excellent balance of salty, slightly acidic, and tender texture of the scallops. Just be sure to purchase dry sea scallops, so you can be certain that there are no additives included at all. Then, you can bite into the freshness, sweetness, and natural flavor of scallops with the enhancement of your preferred marinade. It’s that simple!


Overall, scallops are nutritious, appetizing, and good for your health.

However, it is a matter of choosing the right source to buy your scallops from since not all sellers are created equal.

There are those who sell “older” scallops that have been caught for several days. These may also be soaked in water and have absorbed too much of the briny liquid, which then impacts the flavor and safety of eating them.

Hence, you should stick to dry scallops that are richer in flavor and well worth the price to pay. You can then try out various raw scallop recipes or cook them as you wish, especially for pregnant women.

So, go ahead and enjoy eating scallops and savor the nutritive value they offer!

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