Scallops – Dried (Conpoy)
Conpoy or Dried Scallops
Traditional Chinese Name:
乾瑤柱 (gàn yáo zhù)
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I would say that this is a staple in every Chinese cook’s stock. All you really need are 3-5 dried of these in any soup and in most of the soups I’ve made, this is a great base to start with. Honestly, if you’ve got nothing to eat (except instant noodles and I wouldn’t even that on a regular basis), make a congee out of dried scallops and serve with preserved cucumbers (that come out of the fridge) and you’ve got a pretty yummy meal.
- Conpoy or dried scallops are preserved and treated seafood made from scallops
- They can be made from either cooked or raw scallops (but mainstream is cooked)
- They vary in size depending on the original scallop it was dried from
- They are often used in Chinese soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes
- They can be stored for years at a time (in an air tight container or in the fridge)
How do I prepare it?
- To use for soups, wash and soak the dried scallops in cold water for at least 30-minutes
- Some will drain the soaking water before usage, but there are also others who suggest using it as some of the flavour of the scallop has already been extracted into the water
- Add to the boiling water of soup.
Where can I buy it and cost?
- In Hong Kong, any dried food store will carry this (wet marts, supermarkets, mom and pop shops)
- In Canada, any Chinese dried food store will carry it as well (in Chinese malls)
- They are sold pre-packaged or in bulk
What is the cost?
Dried scallops vary in costs depending on its size, wholeness (have they broken apart are are still whole) and quality
In Hong Kong the cost is roughly: $400 HKD / pound (for average dried scallops)
- In Canada the cost is roughly: $80 CAD / pound (for whole average dried scallops), you can also buy shredded or broken ones for about $50 CAD / pound which are just as good (only they don’t look as good if you’re using them for cooking purposes
- By adding dried scallops to your soup, you can reduce (or eliminate) the salt as they produce enough flavour
Dried scallops are beneficial to the “yin” and replenishes the kidneys
Be careful of fake products. Buy from a reputable and trusted store or source
Many countries outside of Asia require travelers to declare this product if you’re bringing it into the country
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Please tell me how to dry Scallops in a commercial way.
Does it have to be cooked first?
I’m sorry that I don’t actually know how to dry them commercially! They are usually cooked when the Chinese use them as dried.
What would be a good dried scallop substitute?
Hello Tea, a good substitute would be dried octopus, dried shrimp (similar flavours), dried Chinese mushrooms (also produces a rich, deep flavour). You can consider dried tofu (although tofu doesn’t carry the same intensity). Hope this helps!