Seafood Handbook Shellfish Page

The Seafood Handbook is the most comprehensive seafood directory available online. Featuring more than 100 of the most common seafood species in the U.S. market, the Seafood Handbook is the ultimate guide to seafood sourcing and preparation, brought to you by the editors of SeaFood Business magazine. And it’s free!

Search by finfish or shellfish, or by geographic region. For each type of seafood species, there is a comprehensive overview of the item, its origin, history, availability, product attributes, nutritional value and cooking tips, along with an original hand-drawn depiction.

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A10-armed mollusk related to octopus and squid, the cuttlefish sports a flat, oblong body and narrow fins. The body is larger and fatter than a squid, making it meatier, and the ink sac is larger than that of the squid or octopus, with darker ink. One pair of arms, which retracts into pouches, is… Read More
Pacific white shrimp are among the most widely cultivated shrimp in the world. This is due mainly to ease of cultivation and rapid growth rate; harvesting begins after 120 days. The two warmwater species known as Pacific whites are Penaeus vanna­mei, found from Sonora, Mexico, to northern Peru,… Read More
Florida’s regulatory agencies recognize three species as true stone crabs: the Florida variety (Menippe mercenaria), the Gulf crab (M. adina) and a hybrid resulting from interbreeding of the two primary species. Stone crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Texas to the Carolinas,… Read More
There are several species of langostino, but the one most commonly marketed is Pleuroncodes monodon, a small, lobster-like crustacean found in the cold, deep waters off the coast of Chile, where it is known as langostino colorado. A related  langostino, P. planipes, also called tuna crab, ranges… Read More
Spanner crab is a newcomer to the U.S. market, exported from northeastern Australia for the white-tablecloth-dining market. Because of its limited and recent distribution in this country, the crab does not yet appear on the USDA Fish List. Though Australian supplies dominate the domestic market,… Read More
At one time held in low esteem, the blue mussel has become an aquaculture and culinary success story. While they grow wild, mussels are also farmed in Europe and on both coasts of North America. Maine is the largest U.S. producer, but the domestic market also draws farmed mussels from Canada’s… Read More
Surimi seafood is simulated shellfish made from cooked, mildflavored, lean, white-fleshed fish — most often pollock and hake/whiting. The fish is deboned, minced, rinsed and rendered into an odorless, white paste called surimi to which starches, red coloring, flavorings, binders and stabilizers… Read More
Brown, white and pink shrimp are a triad of warmwater animals known collectively as “Gulf shrimp.” Commercially important to both the United States and Mexico, Gulf shrimp are found along the southeastern U.S. coast, as far north as Maryland, and along the entire western Gulf, particularly on… Read More
There are about 500 species of sea urchins worldwide, but the major commercially valuable species in the United States are the red, green and purple sea urchins. The spherical echinoderms have a hard, spiny shell called a “test,” which contains a star-shaped mass comprising five skeins of… Read More
The largest of the commercially harvested crabs, king crabs are characterized by spiny shells and long, spidery legs. Most crabs have 10 appendages, but king crabs have six walking legs, one large “killer” claw and one small “feeder” claw. The best meat is the merus, which comes from the… Read More