Mollusk 101: Understanding Oysters, Mussels, Clams & Scallops
Mollusks are an amazing and often underrated group of seafood. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiniest freshwater snails to the largest giant squids. And they’re delicious!
In this blog post, we’ll explore some common mollusks you can enjoy the next time you head to your seafood market in Singapore. So whether you’re a seasoned seafood lover or just curious about these strange little creatures, read on for the skinny on these yummy creatures.
What Are Mollusks?
Mollusks are a large group of invertebrate animals that includes snails, clams, mussels, oysters, and squids. They are distinguished by their soft bodies and lack of limbs. Mollusks can be found in both freshwater and saltwater habitats, and they play an important role in the ecosystem.
The most visible part of a mollusk is its shell. The shell is made of calcium carbonate and serves as both a protective coat and a means of locomotion. Some mollusks, such as clams and mussels, can also attach themselves to solid surfaces using threads.
Mollusks have a simple body plan: a head, a foot, and a shell. The head contains the organs for seeing, hearing, and eating. The foot is used for locomotion and the shell is used for protection.
Oysters are a type of mollusk found in coastal waters. There are many types of oysters around the world, each with its own unique flavour profile and texture They are a popular seafood item and can be eaten raw when fresh or cooked. With a mild flavour and a slightly chewy texture, oysters are often served with lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, or cocktail sauce.
Oysters can be steamed, boiled, grilled, or baked. They can also be fried, but frying can make their meat tough.
When selecting oysters, it is important to choose those that are tightly closed — that is an indication that the oyster is fresh. Oysters that are open or have a gaping hole in the shell should be avoided, as they may be contaminated.
Mussels are a type of shellfish found near coasts. An excellent source of protein, mussels, like most seafood, are low in calories and fat.
While they can be eaten raw, they are often boiled, grilled, or steamed. Mussels taste best when they are cooked with herbs and spices such as garlic, onion, parsley, and black pepper. They can be served with various sauces, such as white wine, marinara, or pesto sauce.
Clams are bivalve mollusks that spend most of their lives buried under sand or mud in shallow waters. They have a slightly salty, but also slightly sweet taste. Clams can be prepared in many different ways, but they are commonly steamed, boiled, fried, or baked.
Clams are often enjoyed steamed with a small amount of butter, garlic, and white wine. For soup lovers, clam chowder is one of the most popular seafood dishes available all across the globe.
Scallops are a unique as, compared to their clam, oyster, and mussel relatives, they are free-swimming mollusks. They can shoot out water to propel themselves using a large muscle called the adductor. This muscle is the part that we eat, which has a delicate flavour and a slightly chewy texture.
The best way to eat a scallop is to lightly sear it in a pan with some garlic butter or oil. This will give it a nice crispy outside and a tender inside. Baked or grilled scallops are also delicious!
Scallops pair well with a variety of flavours, including lemon, butter, garlic, black pepper, and parsley. They are a great addition to salads or can even be served raw as an appetiser.
Tuck into Mouthwatering Mollusks
Ready to make some mouth-watering mollusk dishes? Before your dash out to any of the seafood markets in Singapore, check out our extensive range of fresh seafood online at Greenwood Fish Market.
From different varieties of fresh oysters to cold water frozen scallops, we’ll have the perfect mollusks for your next seafood meal; all delivered to your doorstep in Singapore.
Too lazy to cook? Head on down to one of our restaurants, and let us satisfy your mollusk cravings. Dozen of freshly shucked oysters are waiting for you!