They are obtained usually from one of two species of scallops: either “Atrina pectinata”, or “Pationopecten yessoensis.” “Atrina pectinata” (called “Kong yiu” by the Chinese) is a small, mild-tasting freshwater scallop. “Pationopecten yessoensis” (called “sin pui” by the Chinese; “hotategai” by the Japanese) is a larger, fuller-flavoured sea scallop.
The larger ones are better tasting, but more expensive — over $40 / US a pound (2005 prices.)
They are rehydrated and used sparingly, though, as a flavouring item and condiment, rather than as a main food item.
Once rehydrated, they are shredded and used sparingly
Not the same as “Dry Pack Scallops.”
Rinse, rub with your fingers any white film on them. Most recipes will ask then you to soak them in advance of steaming them anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, or if no soaking time is specified, call for a longer steaming or cooking time.
Then, place in a small bowl or dish, sprinkle with dry sherry or white wine vinegar, and steam for half an hour to an hour.
Then shred. Discard any hard parts.
You use both the shredded scallop, and the liquid that accumulates in the small dish.
Can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container.