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The term shellfish is a misnomer because unlike its name, it is not a fish, but just a small animal that lives in water. There are various species of shellfish and some of them even come under the category of arachnids and insects. In general, the term shellfish is used for a food that contains various types of echinoderms, crustaceans and mollusks. Sea urchin roe is the most common echinoderm that is enjoyed as a food source. Crabs, crayfish, lobster, prawn and shrimp are the most generally liked crustaceans. Among marine mollusks, scallops, winkles, oysters, mussels and many species of clams are very popular. In many parts of the world, even land crabs are also used as a part of this food, such as in the Caribbean. There are lots of archeological evidences that suggest people have been using various species of shellfish as a food source since ancient times, particularly in the regions with coastal areas, such as Japan, Korea and the United States of America.

Shellfish Nutrition

Shellfish contains high amount of amino acid taurine and is also a rich source of protein. Besides that, it also helps people in maintaining a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats in their diets. That is the reason why most dieticians recommend eating shellfish, especially inter-tidal herbivorous ones, such as clams and mussels.

Shellfish In The US Cuisine

Lobsters are most popularly used in shellfish dishes in the east coast regions of the United States of America. The most common dish consists of lobsters boiled with a little seasoning, which are then served with corn on the cob, baked potatoes and drawn butter. In the southeast regions, crayfish is the most enjoyable shellfish dish, which is usually greatly spiced and is prepared by boiling lots of crayfish in giant pots. Clams, especially chowder clams, are popular in the Northeast coastline of the US.

Shellfish In The Japanese Cuisine

Sashimi and Sushi are the most popular shellfish dishes in Japan. Where Sashimi consists of various species of fresh shellfish sliced into very small pieces, Sushi consists of a mix of both cooked and raw shellfish along with other ingredients like vegetables, fish meat and vinegar rice. Both the dishes are served with finely shredded daikon radish, finely-sliced pickled ginger root, wasabi paste and soy sauce.

Some of the most popular shellfish dishes that are popular throughout the globe include: Sushi, Sliced fish soup, She-crab soup, Lobster bisque, Shrimp cocktail, Sashimi, Paella, Fruits de mer, Curanto, Clam Chowder, Callaloo, Cioppino and Seviche.
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