Good advice from a chef for choosing and cooking scallops


This mollusk consists of three edible parts. The nut is the muscle and the noble part of the shell, the orange-colored coral which does not please all palates is the most nutritious part (vitamins, trace elements and minerals), and the beard, which holds the nut together in the shell, is a muscle which is mainly used in the preparation of sauces.


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We buy them, whole and fresh, from our fishmonger during the season which extends from October to May 15. To protect resources and give the shell time to reproduce, its fishing is strictly regulated. The minimum regulatory size is 10.5 centimeters and its harvest is limited to certain months of the year (with particularities depending on the region). “We check that they are properly closed,” explains fisherman Emmanuelle Marie. And “to attest to their freshness, once opened, we put a little pressure on the beard to see if it retracts very slightly. To the nose, they should not have any odor. »


In the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator or in a cool, ventilated place, place the hollow side down so that they retain their water, and wrapped in a clean cloth. It is ideal to “nut them” (remove the shell) as quickly as possible and then store them for a maximum of forty-eight hours in the refrigerator.


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“Versatile in cooking, scallops can be eaten both raw and cooked,” explains Bérangère Fagart, whose favorite product it is. She cooks it from scratch and, from October to June, offers it from starter to dessert, in a menu. Count four nuts per person.


  • Take the scallops out of the refrigerator.
  • Put a knob of butter in a very hot pan, and when it begins to brown slightly, place the scallops and cook them for 45 seconds if they are large, otherwise 30 seconds is enough.
  • Flip them and cook for 10 seconds less on the other side.
  • Set aside, they should still be soft. Cooking is very quick and should be pearly throughout.

His trick: “Don’t hesitate to recover the juices stuck to the bottom of the pan by deglazing them with calva or a little white wine. Add salt at the end of cooking. »


  • Salt the larger side of the scallop and fry it in a hot pan with some fat.
  • Press for 45 seconds and let rise in temperature until you have a caramelized crust.
  • Flip and fry for 5 seconds on the other side to create a texture effect.

His trick: “Serve them as in a restaurant with a cream of corn which you obtain by mixing cooked corn in a hot cream and a beetroot cream – mix a cooked beet in water. A kind of delicious vegetable mayonnaise ketchup! »


  • Put the scallops in a colander.
  • Fill a Dutch oven with edible pine needles.
  • Embrace the needles and place the strainer in them.
  • Close with a lid and wrap tightly.
  • Cook for 2 hours.
  • When opened, the scallops are cooked and smell of fireplace fire.

His trick: “Serve with rice and a pan of oyster mushrooms. »


  • Cut 4 nuts vertically, not too finely so that there is enough chew to melt on the tongue.
  • Oil with a brush, place a small drizzle of lemon juice and fleur de sel on each strip.

His trick: “Enjoy layer after layer in the mouth: scallops, oil, lime, fleur de sel. Serve with perry! »


Bérangère Fagart enjoys transforming this powerfully flavored part into aromatic powder after drying it on a baking tray in the oven for 2.5 hours at low temperature (140°C/150°C). She sprinkles it, like a condiment, on leek vinaigrette, tuiles or even chips, infuses it in a cream to make whipped cream, mixes it with butter to spread as an aperitif…


  • If its taste is divisive, the beard can be used as an iodized stock to accompany a risotto or snacked scallops (count as many beards as nuts per person).
  • Rinse them thoroughly and brown them in a pan over high heat. They will release water, which you will throw away.
  • Sear the beards with butter.
  • To the juices they will release, add an aromatic garnish (carrot, onion, celery, etc.).
  • Deglaze with calva then add to the amount of water and leave to cook for 3 hours.
  • Whip this iodized juice into foam and serve.

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