Scallops are often considered restaurant-only fare. They’re expensive and easy to overcook, which makes scallops intimidating for home cooks. But once you know how to cook scallops—which only take about 5 minutes on the stovetop!—they’ll become a quick weeknight treat.

Truly fresh scallops are generally only available near the coast. If you buy frozen scallops, defrost overnight in the fridge, over a colander, making sure the scallops don’t sit in their own moisture. In China and Southeast Asia, scallops are preserved by drying. These true dried scallops are then rehydrated and added to seafood soups.