Sweet swimming scallops quickly and easily elevate humble fried rice to guest worthy status. Stir fry vegetables, eggs and rice for bright fresh color and texture. Season with a simple soy, ginger and garlic mixture, stir in scallops in the shell, cook until opened and you're done. I guarantee this scallop fried rice will impress AND you'll be eating in 30 minutes!
This is a sponsored post in partnership with West Coast Wild Scallops and Buy BC. All opinions and ideas are my own though.
This project is supported by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program;
delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the
Government of British Columbia.
The Government of British Columbia is committed to working with industry partners.
Opinions expressed in this document are those of Sabrina Currie and not necessarily
those of the Government of British Columbia or the Investment Agriculture Foundation
Where Can I Buy Scallops
Swimming scallops are flash frozen and available year round. Here in Canada, you can easily buy West Coast Wild Swimming Scallops through Skipper Otto, Tide to Table as well as other locations listed on their site here.
Based on classic Chinese fried rice, this is a fantastic way to use up leftover rice and veggies. This scallop fried rice was inspired by my favourite, locally caught West Coast Wild Scallops. Thai red Scallop Curry is another Asian style scallop recipe I recently did. Oysters Motoyaki would be a killer appetizer for this meal along with a simple salad.
For an Italian twist on steamed swimming scallops, try my Scallops Vongole style too.
- Swimming Scallops - These are available frozen in shell by West Coast Wild Scallops and are cooked from frozen. Sweet, briny and stunning to look at, you will find a white muscle inside these shells with a frilled edge and yellow half circle. You are meant to eat the whole thing as you would with clams or oysters. (If you like getting creative, wash and save the empty shells for crafting!)
- Cold Cooked Rice - It is important that your rice is cooked and cooled. In fact day old leftover rice works is best for making any fried rice. If you need to make rice especially for this dish, use a little less water than you would normally use for rice and make sure to thoroughly cool it in the fridge or freezer (but don't freeze all the way) before using. Long grain rice works best for frying and my preference is jasmine rice.
- Butter - I use butter in this dish for it's flavor and superior browning ability.
See recipe card for quantities.
Use a large wok or the largest frying pan you have. More surface area will help keep your scallop fried rice from getting soggy. Heat your butter on high until bubbling, then dump your cold rice in and stir to coat the grains in butter. Keep the heat on high and let your rice start to crisp a little. Don't stir too often because you want to achieve crisp bits.
Once your rice is starting to get a few crispy bits (about 5 minutes), turn heat to medium, add in carrot and onion and stir occasionally. Cook 5 more minutes. Meanwhile crack and beat eggs in a bowl for the next step.
Next, pour the beaten eggs over and quickly stir to coat the rice.
Finally, add all the pink scallops, toss and flatten gently with your spatula once evenly distributed through the rice. Pour the soy mixture over, turn heat back up to high and let cook until scallops are open, approximately 5 minutes.
Once scallops are open, your fried rice is done. Serve immediately garnishing with fresh scallions.
West Coast Wild Scallops are glazed in fresh sea water to seal in freshness. Right before making this fried rice, run them under cold water in a colander for a couple of minutes, just long enough to rinse the sea water off but keep them frozen. Leave them in the colander to drain until you are ready to cook them. This will prevent too much water and salinity in your finished dish.
Scallops are delicate and should not be overcooked. Make sure to remove the pan from the heat as soon as the scallops open and serve immediately. If you've overcooked your scallops, you will find them a bit rubbery or chewy.
It is easy to prevent overcooking by watching for those shells popping up and removing from heat when most are open. Any remaining scallops that haven't opened can be wedged open with a small fork wedged into the small gap near the hinge of the scallop then twisted.
Due to the nature of the fishery, all swimming scallops are safe to eat because they are only caught when they are alive and swimming. This means you don't have to discard any that haven't opened while cooking.
This recipe is really simple but there are a few substitutions you can make while still keeping the essence of this scallop fried rice recipe intact.
- Butter - if you don't have butter, you can substitute an equal amount of margarine or vegetable oil.
- Shucked Scallops - Have small shucked scallops? Stir them through the rice instead of the scallops in shell and cook 1-2 minutes just until opaque.
- Chicken Stock - Sub water or veggie stock. This dilutes the saltiness of the soy sauce so it doesn't make the dish too salty and stretches the sauce out to cover all the rice and scallops.
- Salt and Pepper - Obvious maybe but this one's important in a recipe with so few ingredients. Give your finished dish a taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
I love scallop fried rice just like this but you can choose to spend a few extra pennies and minutes making it restaurant (and Instagram) worthy if you want.
- Spicy - I love sriracha in this recipe! Drizzle a teaspoon over before adding scallops or serve it on the side at the table.
- Deluxe Asian Flavor - Want to kick this up a notch? Drizzle a teaspoon of sesame oil over just before adding scallops. Once finished, top with a big handful of chopped cilantro (mint and basil also add fresh tasty flavor).
- More Protein - Sprinkle toasted cashews, peanuts or toasted sesame seeds over at the end.
Scallops are best eaten right after cooking. However, if you have leftovers, fried rice with scallops will keep well in the fridge for 1-2 days. To reheat it, give it quick stir-fry in a large pan.
Once prepared and finished this will not keep in the freezer.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes! In fact it is best to cook them from frozen instead of thawing them first. West Coast Wild Scallops are the only fishing boat that currently freezes these scallops at sea. This makes these the best tasting swimming scallops you can buy, tasting like they are fresh out of the water!
Pink and Spiny scallops have thin shells so they cook fast from frozen and taste just as good (and sometimes better than) fresh ones. Do not thaw before cooking and there is no need to clean or remove any parts. These are eaten whole just like a clam, mussel or oyster.
If your scallops are glazed in sea water, it is good to rinse it off before adding into a recipe.
Yes. The only exception to cooking from frozen is if you are serving them raw. To serve raw, thaw in your refrigerator, then shuck and serve right away with accompanying sauce. These flash frozen wild scallops are sushi grade.
Pink scallops and spiny scallops are types of swimming scallops on the Pacific coast. They are also sometimes known as singing scallops. These are NOT sea scallops which are larger and sold pre-shucked.
Yes. These pink scallops are wild and the fishery is well managed to prevent over harvesting. The style of fishing gear and method of harvest is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The steel runners of the scallop nets bounce gently along the sea floor keeping the net above bottom and only catching the upward swimming scallops. Larger sea life is easily able to swim away and it leaves the ocean bottom almost undisturbed. West Coast Wild Scallops is a proud partner of the Ocean Wise seafood program and their scallops are recommended as a sustainable choice by Ocean Wise.
That's ok, they are still safe to eat! Due to the nature of the fishery, all swimming scallops are safe to eat because they are only caught when they are alive and swimming. This means you don't have to discard any that haven't opened while cooking unlike many other varieties of bivalve shellfish.
Swimming scallops are an affordable delicacy that cook quickly for weeknights but are fancy enough for any weekend dinner. Give them a try if you haven't already and let me know what you think!
Wishing you a delicious day and a wonderful meal,
Scallop Fried Rice
- 3 tablespoon Butter
- 2 c Cooked and cooled rice Long grain rice such as jasmine rice
- ½ c Onion, diced
- ½ c Carrot, diced or slivered
- 3 Eggs
- 1.5 lb Swimming Scallops, frozen in shell (approx 4 cups)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Fried Rice Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 3 tablespoon Chicken Stock
- 1 clove Garlic, crushed or ½ teaspoon dry powdered garlic
- 1 teaspoon Ginger, fresh grated or ½ teaspoon dry powdered ginger
- ½ c Tomato, diced
- ¾ c Green Onions aka scallions
- Use a large wok or the largest frying pan you have. (More surface area will help keep your rice from getting soggy.) Heat your butter on high until bubbling, then dump your cold rice in and stir to coat the grains in butter. Keep the heat on high and let your rice start to crisp a little. Don't stir too often because you want to achieve crisp bits.
- Once your rice is starting to get a few crispy bits (about 5 minutes), turn heat to medium, add in carrot and onion and stir occasionally. Cook 5 more minutes. Meanwhile crack and beat eggs in a bowl for the next step.
- Next, pour the beaten eggs over and quickly stir to coat the rice.
- Finally, add all the scallops, toss and flatten gently with your spatula once evenly distributed through the rice. Pour the soy mixture over, turn heat back up to high and let cook until scallops are open, approximately 5 minutes.
- Once scallops are open, this fried rice is done. Serve immediately garnishing with fresh scallions if desired.