A seafood feast is not complete without a fresh selection of shellfish. Whether added in broths, salads, presented raw or drenched in sauce, shellfish brings a uniquely delicious flavour that leaves everyone at the table craving for more.
Get your hands dirty with the juicy goodness of these mouth-watering wonder foods of the sea. Here are five of the best types of shellfish you must include in your next recipe.
Better known in Singapore as La La, Korean clams are freshwater molluscs with concentric textures found on its golden-yellow shell. They are often found in sandy and muddy substrates of streams and lakes. Korean clams are widely consumed in South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia and some parts of Australia and Africa.
Seafood eaters often describe Korean clams as chewy and sweet, though some find it mildly briny. They are usually served with vegetables and spices in soup, broth, and chowder.
Scallops are saltwater bivalve molluscs with a button-like flesh enclosed in its convexly grooved shell. They are usually seen swimming freely across the ocean floor, though they are typically harvested from shallow seas and bays from October to March. Its delicate meat is not just wonderful to eat, it is also rich in minerals, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Like crabs and lobsters, scallops taste sweet, buttery, and succulent but are comparably firmer. This type of shellfish tastes best when stir-fried, pan-seared, sautéed or marinated in different Asian sauces.
Bamboo Clams, or ambal, are elongated shellfishes commonly found in the intertidal zones of Southeast Asian seas. They breed from April to September every year and are collected during the monsoon season between October and March. These tubular bivalves are highly prized delicacies in Malaysia, especially in the Sarawak region.
Freshly steamed ambal shells have a bloated meat which are delicate in texture and sweet in taste. It is often described as a tenderer version of abalone that goes well with spicy sauces. Some of the most popular ambal dishes are Steamed Bamboo Clams with Garlic, Ambal Curry, and Sichuan Ambal Clams.
A favourite seafood amongst Singaporeans, flower crabs are spotted crustaceans that are distinct for their long claws, paddled back legs, and brownish to bluish colour. They are native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans but are usually caught on the intertidal estuaries of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Though this species of crab is generally sweet, female flower crabs are said to be superior when it comes to flavour. Its moist and fresh-tasting flesh makes it suitable for different varieties of dishes. In Singapore, Flower Crabs are usually served marinated, stir-fried, or steamed with herbs.
Locally referred to as ang kar hei, Red-Legged Prawns are soft-shelled decapods that are abundantly sold in wet markets. They are wildly farmed and caught in the waters of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Red Legged-Prawns are loved for its sweet and succulent meat with a fresh oceanic scent. Due to its thin shell and delicate flesh, it is good in absorbing spices and flavours. This culinary treat is the primary ingredient in prawn mee and har lok, but it can also be barbecued, added in steamboats, pan-fried, or stir-fried with garlic in butter.
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