Sushi - Sushi Shellfish - Scallop

Scallop (Hotate)

Patinopecten yessoensis

Also see: Scallop Sushi in Sushi Menu

Scallops are vastly farmed these days. There is not much difference between farmed and natural scallops besides the color of the shell. Natural scallops tend to have a whiter shell because they move around the sand beds and it acts as an abrasive to whiten its shell. Scallops are best when they are 4 years old. There are two ways scallops are farmed. The first method is to collect scallop embryos or larvae from the ocean water and grow them for four years. The other way is to collect natural scallops that are 3 years in age, and then grow them in nets for another year.

The scallops are good swimmers, and they start moving around when they are about an inch and a half big. They slightly open the shells and either jump, or they use their valves to accelerate. The name hotate means “mast raiser”. When the scallop jumped or swam, it looked like the bottom shell was the hull of a ship, and the raised upper shell, resembled the mast.

Besides sushi or sashimi, scallops are enjoyed by grilling them in their shell with butter. A dash of rice wine and soy sauce enhances the flavors.