shellfish

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  June 14, 2022

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Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found in freshwater. In addition a few species of land crabs are eaten, for example Cardisoma guanhumi in the Caribbean. Despite the name, shellfish are not a kind of fish, but are simply water-dwelling animals. Many varieties of shellfish (crustaceans in particular) are actually closely related to insects and arachnids, making up one of the main classes of the phylum Arthropoda. Cephalopods (squid, octopus, cuttlefish) and bivalves (clams, oysters) are molluscs, as are snails and slugs. Familiar marine molluscs enjoyed as a food source by humans include many species of clams, mussels, oysters, winkles, and scallops. Some crustaceans commonly eaten are shrimp, lobster, crayfish, and crabs. Echinoderms are not as frequently harvested for food as molluscs and crustaceans, however sea urchin roe is quite popular in many parts of the world. Most shellfish eat a diet composed primarily of phytoplankton and zooplankton. Shellfish are among the most common food allergens.

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.