National Geographic Traveller (UK) - Food

| RECIPE JOURNAL Shellfish dishes

FROM SEAFOOD LINGUINE TO SPICY MUSSELS WITH FETA, THESE FOUR REFRESHING SHELLFISH DISHES WILL HELP YOU WELCOME IN THE SPRING SUNSHINE. WORDS: CHRISTIE DIETZ

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The term ‘shellfish’ is generally used to refer to edible crustacean­s and molluscs, covering everything from oysters and winkles to prawns and langoustin­es. Though cleaning the shells and removing the meat can take a bit of work, cooking shellfish tends to be a quick and easy affair. Its a food that’s been eaten across the globe, particular­ly in coastal areas, for hundreds of thousands of years.

Shellfish dishes don’t come much fresher than amaebi (spot prawn) sashimi in Japan, or more comforting than Belgium’s steaming bowls of mussels in white wine (ideally with a healthy portion of frites). Head to Singapore for crab stir-fried in a sweet yet savoury chilli sauce, or try it dressed in its shell and accompanie­d by new potatoes and a dollop of mayonnaise on England’s Norfolk coast. Meanwhile, in the US state of Maine

— the country’s seafood capital — you can get gloriously messy with a whole steamed lobster and a pot of sweet, melted butter.

Of course, shellfish isn’t always the main event: it’s also dried and used to impart a deeply savoury umami flavour. Dried scallops are fried with chillies and seasonings to make Cantonese XO sauce, for instance, and ground dried shrimp is incorporat­ed into spicy condiments such as shito in Ghana and balachaung in Myanmar.

The following recipes, inspired by flavours from the

US, Greece, Italy and Asia, all use fresh shellfish. When preparing live clams, mussels or oysters, make sure the shells are either firmly shut or immediatel­y close when tapped; once dead, they quickly decompose and, even after a short time, might not be safe to eat. Most shellfish are seasonal, although cultivated mussels and oysters are available year-round. If you know a good fishmonger, ask for recommenda­tions on what’s available and sustainabl­e.

 ??  ?? King prawns in spicy broth at Chishuru restaurant, London
King prawns in spicy broth at Chishuru restaurant, London

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