Species Groups

Learn about the following species groups (including their most common members, as well as purchasing, storage and cooking information), or select a specific species from the species list on the right.

More Species Groups 

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Native Oyster
Ostrea angasi
 
Pacific Oyster
Crassostrea gigas
 
Sydney Rock Oyster
Saccostrea glomerata
 
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Native Oyster

Ostrea angasi
Other names:

Angasi, belon, flat oyster, mud, or Port Lincoln oyster.

Family:

Ostreidae (oysters).

Description:

Available farmed, it is a marine and estuarine bivalve that initially attaches to hard surfaces then breaks free to settle on soft bottoms subtidally from 2-20m. A flat Oyster endemic to southern Australia but now quite scarce, it has had resurgence of popularity and is grown on the southern coast of NSW around Bermagui and Merimbula as well as in small quantities in Tasmania and SA.

Season:

Best from May to August and better avoided from November to March.

Size and Weight:

Average 60-80g whole weight and to 10cm shell length, though they can reach 25cm.

Price:

High priced.

Relations:

Pacific Oyster, distinguished by oval, spiky cupped shell; Sydney Rock Oyster, distinguished by triangular-shaped, cupped shell. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as Belon, the flat European Oyster (O.edulis) to which it is related.

To Buy:

Generally sold by piece, already shucked (opened). Look for lustrous, plump, moist flesh with a pleasant fresh sea smell. Unshucked Oysters should be closed or close when tapped or gently squeezed.

To Store:

Shucked Oysters are best eaten on the day they’re purchased. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, but will taste best cooked if not eaten within 24 hours, and can be frozen for up to 3 months, below -18ºC, and used in soups or sauces. Live molluscs should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase. Place in a container, cover with damp paper or cloth and keep in the warmest part of the refrigerator, usually the crisper (optimum 5ºC), ensuring that the covering remains damp.

To Cook:

Average yield is 20-40% from half shell. Has a rich, iodiney flavour, low - medium oiliness and moist, soft, creamy flesh when raw, turning browny-grey when cooked. As a flat Oyster, they have quite a different flavour and texture to other Australian Oysters. If not consumed raw, they require very little cooking, either a quick dip in hot oil (usually with a coating) or a very gentle warm through; stop cooking as soon as the edges of the meat start to curl, as overcooked they will be tough and tasteless.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (sashimi), pickle.

Goes well with:

Bacon, breadcrumbs, cream, eggs, fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, green onions, lemon, lime, mirin, pepper, soy, Tabasco, tomato, wasabi, Worcestershire sauce.

Alternatives:

Blue Mussels can be substituted in some recipes.

Imports:

Pacific Oysters are imported from New Zealand, chilled on the half-shell. Frozen, dried and smoked Oysters are also imported from many countries.

Recipes:

Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters >
Oysters with Asian Dressing >
Oysters with Shallot Vinaigrette >
Oysters with Wasabi Dressing >
Seafood Gumbo >