Scallops are amazing combination of delicate texture and flavor, reside in a single shell. The whole shell consists of firm white meat also known as “scallop” and a soft meaty extension called “roe” or coral hanging out to one side. Did you know what is scallop roe? And what does it look like?
Well, if you are a fan of aesthetic scallops, you may wonder that something is missing from your regular delicacy. And it’s the roe or scallop coral. Actually, there’s two types of scallops available in the market, whole scallops and prepared scallops.
Prepared scallops are roe-off scallops and have shells with only white meat. While whole scallops are roe-on scallops with both white meat and coral inside the shells.
Roe-off scallops are most common for one or more reasons that even some people don’t know about scallop roe. So, this article is for all those who see the bright-colored extension of the scallop for the first time.
What Is Scallop Roe?
Scallops belong to the hermaphrodite family of seafood means that such individuals have both sexes simultaneously. Their reproductive organs are actually known as scallop roe.
The male part of the scallop is sometimes white or grey in color and simply called milt. It contains sperms to fertilize eggs.
The female part of the scallop is brightly orange or red and actually roe or coral of the scallop. It contains eggs like ovaries.
Both these reproductive organs are attached to each other, so overall they are called scallop roe. This is because the bright roe color pops up more and looks dominant than its male counterpart, milt.
Is Scallop Roe Edible?
Yes, scallop roe is edible and in fact, it’s the tastier and delicate part of the whole scallop. So, the whole scallop tastes much better and stronger than prepared ones.
But there are two groups of people with different opinions when we talk about scallop coral. This is because some claim that roe-on scallops are more flavorful and delicious to eat while some believe that roe-off scallops are better as they are more appealing to look at.
However, the plus point of roe-on scallops is that they are served fresh that sounds amazing. The reason is that roe is more sensitive and thus go bad much faster than muscle meat. So, roe-on scallop serving means a fresh and tastier treat ever to taste.
But the selection of scallop type is entirely up to you whether you want to enjoy the stronger flavor of coral or want to serve dinner without these colorful meaty extensions.
All roe of seafood is edible including scallops. Sometimes, roe is detached to maintain the texture and shelf life of seafood but it’s all time there and makes the dish finer and tastier.
Read Also: Can You Eat Scallop Raw?
What Does Scallop Roe Look Like?
The roe is a large colorful extension hanging out to one side of the scallop. It gives a pop of color to the whole whitish scallop meat that looks amazing.
As you know that it’s the reproductive organ of the scallop, so it gets prominent and grows larger and larger in mating season. Sometimes, it even grows more in size than the actual scallop.
As compared to scallop meat, coral meat is so delicate and soft that it feels fresh and alive to taste. Its meaty flesh is contained within a thin sac-like membrane.
Roe surrounds muscle in a way like a colorful half moon. So, if you never had roe-on scallop on your plate, it’s hard to imagine its delicate texture and colorful look.
Scallop Roe Is Actually Delicious
Roe always wins whenever we talk about the scallop flavor. In addition to its eye-catching color and delicate texture, its flavor is also stronger and bold than scallop muscle.
So, if you like scallop muscle for its taste, you must try roe and see the difference. The flavor of muscle is milder and firm as compared to roe. And, if you are in a mood of enjoying seafood with an extra oomph, try roe-on scallop and make your day.
You can simply sear out roe-on scallop in a pan over the stove. And if you are found of dips or sauces, you can also prepare scallop roe taramasalata. It’s a homemade pink roe sauce that goes great as a condiment with a number of food dishes.
Which is better- roe on or roe off?
As previously explained, it’s your taste preferences and requirements what kind of flavor and texture you want to enjoy. Every palate is different and perceives flavors in a different way. So, always pursue your taste demands.
In terms of comparison, the roe-on scallop is better having good taste, texture, and appearance than the roe-off type. So, if you really want fine dining dish and appreciate flavorful treats, you must go with roe-on.
The scallop coral gives you an idea about the freshness and textural consistency of the muscle. So, enjoying roe-on scallop means enjoying a fresh and flavorful savory treat ever.
The nutritional value of roe is an adding advantage of consuming roe-on scallop. Sometimes, roe is considered a superfood because it is full of essential nutrients and vitamins. It’s may be another reason why scallops are so expensive?
Why Do Chefs Remove The Roe From Scallops?
You may notice that chefs always serve scallops without roe and it’s quite usual in restaurants. There’s no ideal reason behind doing this but the only way of presenting a dish.
Chefs consider that scallops without their reproductive organs look more interesting and worth eating. Although they know that roe tastes better than overall scallop muscle but they detached it just to focus on the pretty look of a dish.
For chefs, scallops look great without roe but it doesn’t mean you have to eat it as-is. You can definitely follow your taste and enjoy what really makes you excited and refresh.
Quick Wrap Up
The scallop roe is a reproductive organ of a muscle. Actually, it’s the female part of the muscle containing eggs while the male part is known as milt and sit right next to it. Roe-off scallops are already prepared without scallop coral. These are actually without colorful, flavorful, and textural beauty of the scallop.
On the other hand, roe-on scallops or whole scallops are stronger in flavor and more delicate in texture. However, it’s really up to you whether you want to enjoy them with or without roe. So, don’t bound yourself within local trends of presenting seafood, always explore new horizons of taste.