THE SHELLFISH DIRECTORY

The Shellfish Directory

The following is a guide to all the main species of edible shellfish, listed by their common names, although some are known by a variety of different names. The potted profile for each fish details the various forms in with it can be purchased, for example live or cooked, fresh or canned, frozen or smoked, and the most suitable cooking methods.

 
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Clam

There are many varieties of clam, which vary in size and have either soft or hard shells. They are sold live in their shells and larger clams are steamed open, whereas smaller varieties can be eaten raw. They are also sold smoked and canned.

Clam

There are many varieties of clam, which vary in size and have either soft or hard shells. They are sold live in their shells and larger clams are steamed open, whereas smaller varieties can be eaten raw. They are also sold smoked and canned.

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Clam

There are many varieties of clam, which vary in size and have either soft or hard shells. They are sold live in their shells and larger clams are steamed open, whereas smaller varieties can be eaten raw. They are also sold smoked and canned.

Mussel

Identified by their dark blue shell, mussels cling to rocks or the sea bed and take about two years to reach maturity. They are available live or frozen and are cooked by steaming, which opens their shells. The best known mussels recipe is Moules Marinière. 

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Oyster

There are many varieties of this shellfish, which vary in size. The traditional way of eating them is raw, straight from the half shell, with their juices. Shucked (shelled) oysters are available smoked, canned and dried.

Oyster

There are many varieties of this shellfish, which vary in size. The traditional way of eating them is raw, straight from the half shell, with their juices. Shucked (shelled) oysters are available smoked, canned and dried.

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Scallop and queen

Scallops and queens both have ribbed fan shells, but queen scallops, or queenies, are smaller than scallops and are more widely available. Unlike other molluscs, scallops cannot hold their shells tightly closed and die soon after they are taken out of water. This means that they are very perishable and are often removed from their shells and iced aboard fishing boats as soon at they are caught. Both the white muscle and orange coral, or roe, are eaten and have an exquisite, delicate taste. They can be bought fresh or frozen and can be fried, grilled or steamed.

Scallop and queen

Scallops and queens both have ribbed fan shells, but queen scallops, or queenies, are smaller than scallops and are more widely available. Unlike other molluscs, scallops cannot hold their shells tightly closed and die soon after they are taken out of water. This means that they are very perishable and are often removed from their shells and iced aboard fishing boats as soon at they are caught. Both the white muscle and orange coral, or roe, are eaten and have an exquisite, delicate taste. They can be bought fresh or frozen and can be fried, grilled or steamed.

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Shrimp

This is the smallest crustacean, of which there are several varieties, such as the brown, pink and deep-water shrimp. Like prawns, they are translucent when alive and turn pink when cooked. Shrimps are mainly sold frozen, but are also available canned, salted and dried.

Shrimp

This is the smallest crustacean, of which there are several varieties, such as the brown, pink and deep-water shrimp. Like prawns, they are translucent when alive and turn pink when cooked. Shrimps are mainly sold frozen, but are also available canned, salted and dried.

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Prawn

This shellfish is larger than the shrimp and is also available cooked whole or peeled and frozen, canned or dried. A classic way of serving prawns as a starter is Prawn Cocktail.

Prawn

This shellfish is larger than the shrimp and is also available cooked whole or peeled and frozen, canned or dried. A classic way of serving prawns as a starter is Prawn Cocktail.

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Crab

There are several varieties of this crustacean, including the blue of soft-shell crab, the common crab, the green or shore crab and the spider crab. Crab can be bought live, uncooked in the shell, cooked, with or without the shell, fresh and canned. Its flesh consists of white meat, found in the claws and legs, and brown meat, found in the body. Crab can be baked, steamed or boiled. Fresh crab can also be purchased “dressed”, with the meat arranged attractively in the shell ready for eating. Canned dressed crab is also available.

Crab

There are several varieties of this crustacean, including the blue of soft-shell crab, the common crab, the green or shore crab and the spider crab. Crab can be bought live, uncooked in the shell, cooked, with or without the shell, fresh and canned. Its flesh consists of white meat, found in the claws and legs, and brown meat, found in the body. Crab can be baked, steamed or boiled. Fresh crab can also be purchased “dressed”, with the meat arranged attractively in the shell ready for eating. Canned dressed crab is also available.

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Lobster

Lobster, considered by some to be the finest crustacean, can take seven years to reach marketable size. There are several varieties and they can be bought live, when dark blue, or cooked in the shell, when the lobster turns bright pink. Lobster can also be purchased frozen whole or as frozen tails, and canned. It can be baked, boiled, steamed or grilled.

Lobster

Lobster, considered by some to be the finest crustacean, can take seven years to reach marketable size. There are several varieties and they can be bought live, when dark blue, or cooked in the shell, when the lobster turns bright pink. Lobster can also be purchased frozen whole or as frozen tails, and canned. It can be baked, boiled, steamed or grilled.

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Dublin Bay Prawn/Langoustine/Norway Lobster/Scampi

This attractive shellfish looks like a miniature version of a lobster. It is available live or cooked, with its shell or peeled. When peeled and coated in breadcrumbs, it is known as scampi.

Dublin Bay Prawn/Langoustine/Norway Lobster/Scampi

This attractive shellfish looks like a miniature version of a lobster. It is available live or cooked, with its shell or peeled. When peeled and coated in breadcrumbs, it is known as scampi.

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Rock Lobster/Spiny Lobster

This is another shellfish that looks similar to a small lobster. It is prepared and cooked in the same way as lobster.

Rock Lobster/Spiny Lobster

This is another shellfish that looks similar to a small lobster. It is prepared and cooked in the same way as lobster.

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Freshwater Crayfish

Also resembling a tiny lobster, these are the only shellfish found in fresh waters. Like prawns, they are translucent when alive and turn pink when cooked. Crayfish are mainly sold canned, salted or dried.

Freshwater Crayfish

Also resembling a tiny lobster, these are the only shellfish found in fresh waters. Like prawns, they are translucent when alive and turn pink when cooked. Crayfish are mainly sold canned, salted or dried.

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Octopus

The octopus is a cephalopod and has eight tentacles. It varies in size and large ones – as large as 3 meters/10 feet – are available prepared in pieces and small ones are available whole. Octopus can be poached or used in soups and stews.

Octopus

The octopus is a cephalopod and has eight tentacles. It varies in size and large ones – as large as 3 meters/10 feet – are available prepared in pieces and small ones are available whole. Octopus can be poached or used in soups and stews.

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Squid

The squid, of which there are several varieties varying in size, is a cephalopod and has ten tentacles. The tentacles are chopped and the body wither sliced or kept whole and stuffed. Large squid are usually stewed and small squid can be fried, grilled or poached. The ink, found in a sac, can also be used in cooking. Squid is available fresh or frozen.

Squid

The squid, of which there are several varieties varying in size, is a cephalopod and has ten tentacles. The tentacles are chopped and the body wither sliced or kept whole and stuffed. Large squid are usually stewed and small squid can be fried, grilled or poached. The ink, found in a sac, can also be used in cooking. Squid is available fresh or frozen.

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