We, Fat Butchery, the most hated business entity to some, will be sharing the difference of scallops in the market (Malaysia) with you guys. Some people will be hating this post/article. But these are information that you guys as a consumer SHOULD know. No, not everyone knows about these, a very good example is my aunt, my dad’s sister. (Let’s have a short recap on the story)
Sometime around Chinese New Year of 2019, I received a pretty angry call (he was always angry) from my dad, the conversation goes something like this ;
Old man : “Eh, how much is the scallops you selling?”
Poor Guy : “RM200+ per …. “
Old man : “Why so expensive 1????”
Poor Guy : “kilo…g….r…a…..”
Old man : “Your auntie now at some seafood place, the scallops only RM99 per box”
Poor Guy : “m…”
Old man : “You selling gold ah? Somemore if buy more than 3 box got 20% discount lagi. Who want buy from you oh”
Poor Guy : “I selling SCALLOP not s***, go go ask her buy and eat first”
– slam the phone, end of convo –
Some of the customer that saw our price of scallops also thinking “These guys selling gold ah?”
It is a pretty normal reaction we get from a lot of our customer.
tut tuuuttttt, tut tuuutttt (my auntie calls 2 days later)
Old woman : “eh… I gave 2 box of the scallops to your dad, also hor, I cook already but..
Poor guy : “taste like fishball right? RM80 fishball nice or not?”
Old woman : “how you know 1? Your dad told you ah?”
Poor guy : “I sell quality things, you all think I cheat money 1 ah? Happy lo, buy so many box, this CNY you can slowly enjoy your PREMIUM FISHBALL”
Ever questioned/wondered why some ‘Hokkaido Scallops’ are so cheap? Some are so expensive (like ours, at this link here). We will share some of the information that we knows of, and you be the judge to decide what you want to buy in the future.
Where does the scallops come from?
Generally what we normally see in the market (Malaysia) are ‘Japan’ , ‘Hokkaido’ , ‘Canada’.
All the great sounding country. Why we don’t see China Scallops on the box in Malaysia market? China don’t produce scallops?
China is one of the biggest scallops producer but funnily, we ‘don’t see it’ in Malaysia market. Oh well, let’s skip that, figure it out yourself ok?
Let’s talk about JAPAN scallop which is probably the most ‘common’ that you can find in Malaysia, everyone is selling ‘Hokkaido’ scallops.
2 famous place that produce scallop in Japan is Aomori and Hokkaido. Hokkaido scallops are more ‘premium’, more expensive and tastier if compared with Aomori’s scallops (in general). So next time, don’t see “JAPAN” Scallops, then automatically thinks that is it Hokkaido scallops, there are few other regions that produces scallops too.
- Types of scallops
Bay Scallops vs Sea Scallops
Bay Scallops = Shallow water, much much smaller size
Sea Scallops = Deep, cold water, much much bigger size
- How is it packed?
Hello? What how is it pack? Plastic bag la, abuthen?
*ahem* In other words, how is the scallops ‘processed’.
In angmoh term, there is DRY PACKING and WET PACKING.
We will translate it to a very simple language, so that all of us can understand easily.
WET PACKING = pump water, pump preservative, pump chemical to make it BIGGER and WHITER. (ok, that is the simple language)
Normally, wet packing involves soaking the scallops in a bath of phosphates (or more precisely- sodium tripolyphosphate), for the purpose of adding water-weight. So that a 10g scallops become 20,30,40g.
Or to whiten the color of scallops, BECAUSE to some people WHITE SCALLOPS are the real/better scallops.
Or tons of ice glazing to ‘protect’ the scallops and at the same time make it more heavy.
DRY PACKING = Original, natural, no add water no add chemical, no pump it big, no make it white. (end of simple language)
To be more precise, it is seafood industry term for natural scallops, which have not been treated with phosphates. Natural scallops have a slightly tan, or “vanilla”-color. Which means it is naturally sweet, does not shrink much after defrost and cooked. And most importantly, perfectly safe and natural.
FOR EXAMPLE, a test that we did on our SASHIMI GRADE HOKKAIDO SCALLOPS, a piece of 47g scallops, after being thawed in room temperature for 4 hours, it became 45-46g (the weighing scale keep jumping between this 2 number, anyone want to buy us a high tech weighing scale?)
- Why are your HOKKAIDO Scallops more expensive, sweeter and sashimi grade?
If I says, 99.99% of ‘Hokkaido scallops’ you see on the market are from China, do you believe that?
Either it is harvested at China, then processed in China, put in some Japanese wording box and sold as ‘Hokkaido Scallops‘
Or harvested somewhere in Japan, send to China and ‘processed‘, put in more Japanese looking box and sold as ‘Sashimi Hokkaido Scallops’
- Where is the remaining 0.1%?
You say leh? HERE LA
- What about FAKE scallops? Are there FAKE scallops?
Of course, there is a video on Youtube (click here), basically a news report or TV show explaining types of scallops, real/fake, how to differentiate BUT it is in Mandarin (Taiwan) . Or this video #2 (in Mandarin too)
We will stop here for now before someone starts sending death threats, spam us with fake reviews and such.
Be a smart consumer, do some study before you buy things.