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Oysters, mussels, clams are bivalves belong to Mollusks. They have two hard shell connected by a hinge.

  • Buy bivalves only if they are alive
  • Live ones securely close their shell. If the shell is open - just tap on the shell, you will find gaping shell would close; otherwise consider dead.
  • Look for Bivalves that are ‘sand removed’ by process called depuration, or else you need to remove the intestinal sand yourself by holding the organism in 3 per cent salt water or sea water for 1 hour to expel the sand.
  • Make sure they are moist and fresh over the bed of ice, they need cool wet place for their survival.
  • Bivalves has ocean fresh aroma
  • Discard bivalves with disproportionate weight, either light or heavy
  • Don't buy if there is crack on the shell or broken
  • Clean the Bivalves with hard brush, to clean external sand, remove the beard attached.
  • Fill the sink or a large bowl with cold water
  • Add the mussels and sort through them, discarding any with damaged shells, and those that are open and do not close when their shells are tapped gently.
  • Using a small knife, scrape off any barnacles from the shells, then pull away the hairlike beards.
  • Scrub the shells under cold running water until clean.
  • Hold each oyster firmly, flat side up in a thick cloth to protect your hand and to stop the oyster slipping.
  • Insert an oyster knife into the join between the halves of the shell in about the middle of the straight edge.
  • Slide the knife from end to end along the inside of the top shell to sever the muscle, then twist the knife to separate the shells.
  • Run the knife gently under the oyster to loosen it from the bottom shell, keeping the shell horizontal to retain the juice.
  • Pick our any visible shards of shell but do not rinse the oyster.

Frozen mussel meat

Bivalves can be kept alive for a day or two in the fridge with a damp cloth. They may need some oxygen to survive, avoid keeping in ice and any sudden change in temperature affects the organism.

While cooking the bivalves; the shell should open, otherwise discard. Bivalves are tender juicy, firm texture and taste sweaty / briny. This can be cooked by boiling, steaming, grilling.

How to clean clams & Mussels

How to clean Mussel

How to shuckle an oyster

Mussel in sand removing process (depuration)



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