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How To Choose Shellfish?

how to choose shellfish

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Do you know how to choose them when buying shellfish? Let’s have a look at the subject. How to choose shellfish? This is a really important point. It is especially important with shellfish to make or not fresh since they could cause serious sure that you buy them from a reputable illness.

Buying Shellfish

  • Mussels and clams: When buying live mussels or clams, choose those with tightly closed shells. Avoid any that will not close if tapped, and those with broken shells, since they may be dead and could therefore cause food poisoning if eaten.
  • Mussels: When buying mussels, avoid those covered with sand, since large amounts will be difficult to remove.
  • Scallops: Buy scallops that are a creamy ivory; coral, if attached, should be bright orange. If they are too white, they may have been soaked in water to increase weight.
  • Lobster: When buying a lobster, choose one that is between 1 and 2 lb (0.5 and 1 kg) in weight. Small lobsters may have too little flesh inside, while very large ones can be coarse, chewy, and dry.

Choosing Shellfish: Buying Crab

Choosing Crab: If you like the white meat from the claws, buy a male crab. For the rich pink coral from inside the body shell, choose a female.

Checking the weight: When buying a cooked whole crab, hold it firmly by the claws, and shake it gently. The crab should feel heavy for its size. If it feels light or rattles, it is of poor quality and has water inside.

Refrigerating Prawns: Rinsing Before storing fresh, raw shrimp in the refrigerator, rinse in cold water, and drain well. Use within two days.

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Cleaning mussels: To clean mussels or clams, place them in cold water with a handful of raw oatmeal or cornmeal. Let stand for two hours. Mussels and clams will expel dirt as they feed.

choosing shellfish

Preventing loss of juices

Storing Oysters: Store live oysters curved side down to prevent loss of juices. Arrange in an open tray, cover with a damp cloth, and store in the bottom of the refrigerator. Use as quickly as possible, within 24 hours of purchase.

Storing Live Shellfish

Keeping crayfish alive: If you buy live crayfish, lobsters, or crabs, keep them alive until you are ready to cook them. Place the crayfish in as large and deep a bowl as possible in the sink, and keep the cold-water tap running continuously into it.

Octopus & Squid

  • Checking the weight: Avoid buying octopus that is more than 2 lb (1 kg) in weight since it is likely to be tough.
  • Choosing for freshness: Choose octopus or squid with a good color, a slippery appearance, and a fresh, salty smell. Avoid any with broken outer skins or those lying in puddles of ink.
  • Saving the ink: If you can, buy squid that has not already been cleaned and still has its ink sac, and clean it at home. Use the ink to add flavor and color to a sauce.
  • Cleaning: Clean octopus or squid before storing them. Put in the refrigerator in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.


Tip: If you would like to know more about Choosing Shellfish, click on the “tags” below.

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How To Choose Shellfish?