Dried scallop

Introduction


Dried scallop (also called dried conpoy or conpoy) has got the reputation of “Supreme Seafood” because of its rich and delicious taste. It is also listed as a member of “The eight precious food from the sea”. The common name “Dried conpoy” or “Conpoy” has long been recorded in “Ben Cao Cong Xin”. The Chinese characters of the name implicate the meaning of “Reunion” and “Money making”. That is why dried scallop is a popular and high class ingredient for making delicacies in occasions of weddings or celebrations.
Dried scallops are produced in Japan and northeastern coast of China. They are the dried adductor muscles of scallops which are edible in either fresh or dried state. The product from Japan has the best quality. Its carries strong and rich flavour. China has lesser production and the quality is not as good as that of Japan.
Dried scallop is neutral in nature and tastes light sweet and salty. It nourishes ‘yin’ and replenishes blood through liver, kidney and spleen meridian; food stasis in stomach, polydipsia and ‘yin’ deficiency and strain. Dried scallop contains rich proteins, calcium phosphate and vitamin such as A, B and D. Dried scallop’s natural flavour and rich nutrient content make it suitable for consumption by patients who are dispirited and lose appetite after illness. Families usually serve dried scallop congee to weak patients.
Dried scallop has strong fragrance and delicious taste which can be served either in dishes or as soup ingredient. It is a health enhancing food ingredient for any age group of either gender, all the year round.

Selection
Selection of superb quality:
Superb quality dried scallop is golden yellow in colour. When cut apart, the inner portion displays golden yellow or brownish colour; that is the sign expressing fresh and good quality. Furthermore, the surface of the dried scallop should be clean. If a thin layer of white powder is found on the surface, which means the scallop has undergone lengthy drying process. The taste and mouth-fee of dishes made from such over-dried scallops will not be as good as those made from fresh ones.
Section of production area:
Japanese dried scallop
Japanese dried scallop has the best quality.
Each piece of dried scallop is meticulously selected under stringent production monitoring and is given accreditation on good hygiene condition by governmental authority. The price of which is therefore more expensive.
Chinese dried scallopProduction volume is small. The quality varies and cannot reach the level of Japanese product. It is darkish yellow and lighter in colour. It has lighter fragrance, rough mouth-fee, weaker taste and saltier. The price of which is cheaper.


Effect

Dried scallop is neutral in nature and tastes light sweet and salty. It nourishes ‘yin’ and replenishes blood through liver, kidney and spleen meridian. It is beneficial to heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney; nourishes ‘yin’ liver and kidney, and restore body essence. If a person is deficiency of kidney ‘yin’, he will experience: dizzy of head and blurred vision, hotflashes on cheeks, mouth and throat dryness, weak and sore waist and legs, perturbed, insomnia, oliguria with reddish urine and afternoon low fever. Deficiency of kidney ‘yin’ also leads to chronic diseases like neurasthenia, nerve deafness and tuberculosis.
Dried scallop heals weak spleen and stomach, stasis of food in stomach, polydipsia, ‘yin’ deficiency and strain. Continuous consumption of dried scallop as a way of food therapy can help candidate for examination, labourer or frequent overtime worker overcome adverse symptoms such as nervousness, tired eyes, shoulder pain and headache by replenishing their vital energy and relieving body exhaustion.
Dried scallop contains rich proteins, calcium phosphate and vitamin such as A, B and D. Dried scallop’s natural flavour and rich nutrient content make it suitable for consumption by patients who are dispirited and lose appetite after illness. Families usually serve dried scallop congee to weak patients.

Classification
Classified according to their size:
Product NameClassification criteria set by Hokkaido marine industry authorityPrice comparison
Hokkaido large scallop55-65 pieces/catty

Hokkaido medium scallop75-85 pieces/catty
Hokkaido scallop100-120 pieces/catty
Hokkaido small scallop140-160 pieces/catty)
Classified according to its production origin
 Hokkaido scallopChinese scallop
 

Production placeHokkaido, JapanDalian, China
ColourDark golden yellowLight darkish yellow
AppearanceIntact and firm 
FragranceStrong fragranceLighter fragrance
Touch feelDry and stout, not easy to get broken apartDamp and easily get broken apart
Mouth-feelSweet and sturdyRough
TasteDelicious and thickLess delicious, saltier
PriceMore expensiveCheaper


Assessment
There is a great demand for dried scallop in recent years making sharp rise of its price. Fake and imitation products are found in the market mingled with the real ones to pursue profit.
Starch-made scallopIt’s easy to differentiate starch-made scallop because it cannot imitate the tissue structure of real scallop. Real scallop’s tissue structure is shown in longitudinal column strips while fake scallop has horizontal cracks. Real dried scallop has dry touch feel whereas fake dried scallop is added with artificial colourings and applied with oil to enhance its luster, which makes it slippery and leave oil stain when being placed on a sheet of paper. Fake dried scallop is not sustainable to soaking, not to mention cooking.
Misleading selling tacticsUnethical businessmen falsely claim Chinese dried scallop as Japanese product and sell at price several times higher. Mingle dried scallops of 2 different grading and sell at the price of higher grading to make extra profit
Please take note of the above tips to avoid money loss and buy dried scallops at shops of good reputation or which possess certification of import from Japan.

Q&A
1.How to store dried scallop?
Store in dry, cool and shaded place or refrigerated.
2.What is the preparation work before cooking dried scallop (such as making congee or home dishes)?
  1. Soak dried scallop with clean water for about 1 hour so that it gets softened after absorbing water.
  2. Rinse and clean the dried scallop gently and clear off old muscles from the scallop’s rim.
  3. Put the cleaned scallop into a big bowl and add appropriate amount of ginger slice, shallot and clean water.
  4. Steam with high heat for about 30 minutes.
  5. The soaking water can be retained as sauce for cuisine.