It’s oyster season, so get slurping

Large and tender Shajing oysters are one of the treasures of Bao’an due to the district’s oyster breeding cultural history of more than 1,000 years.

Since the end of April, local oysters have been left on the sea bed to procreate, and the period from May to August is the spawning season.

In European culture, as long as there’s an “r” at the end of the month’s name, it’s considered the oyster season. Even though non-local oysters are around all year, here in Shenzhen, we have the annual Golden Oyster Festival in December, where you can get a taste of authentic Shajing oysters and learn about the culture and history of oyster harvest in Shenzhen.

Popular oyster dishes

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• Raw oysters

Oyster flesh has a wondrous texture, and what makes oysters so alluring is their briny and creamy flavor. Served with lemon juice, ketchup or Tabasco sauce, you can swallow fresh oysters whole.

• Grilled oysters

If you have a hard time eating them raw, they can be lightly grilled, fried or baked in a little sauce. Grilling is one of the most common ways to prepare oysters.

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• Oyster omelette

Oyster omelettes are widely known in Taiwan, Fujian and Guangdong, as well as many other parts of Asia, for their savory taste. The dish consists of an omelette with a filling primarily composed of small oysters. Starch is mixed into the egg batter to thicken the consistency of the resulting egg wrap. The oyster omelette, called “蚵仔煎” in Taiwan, is a popular night market favorite, while in Guangdong, it is called “蚝仔烙.”

• Stir-fried oysters

Stir-fried oysters with ginger, scallions and soy sauce can be found on a lot of dinner tables in Guangdong. Similar cooking methods can also be found in other seafood dishes. Fresh oysters have a great natural seafood taste, so when preparing them, use just a small amount of seasoning and avoid overcooking so you don’t cover their original taste.

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• Steamed oysters

Steamed oysters is a traditional and simple dish in Guangdong. This cooking method is healthy and low in fat without compromising on flavor compared with stir-fried oysters. Like steamed scallops, you can add minced garlic, soy sauce and vermicelli.

• Oyster chicken porridge

In Guangdong, porridge is prepared by boiling rice in water, and then cooking under high heat. The process splits and separates the grains of rice, resulting in a soft mush. The water transforms into a light porridge base. Cantonese and Chaozhou people like to add pork, fish, shrimp, crab, chicken or pigeon meat into the porridge to add a tasty flavor to the subtle taste of the porridge. Oyster chicken porridge is a traditional dish in Shajing and can commonly be found at street restaurants.

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• Baked oyster with cheese

Buttery cheese and tender oysters make the perfect combination. The mixed taste of the oyster topped with crisp baked cheese is unique.

Where to eat great oysters

Almost every Cantonese and Chaozhou restaurant serves oyster dishes. If you prefer to cook oysters at home, you can find local or imported oysters, as well as dried seafood, at seafood markets in Bao’an.

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• Fuyong Seafood Market (福永海鲜市场)

Add: Fuyong Boulevard, Bao’an District (宝安区福永大道)

Metro: Line 11, Fuyong Station (福永站), Exit C and then take a taxi

• Xixiang Seafood Market (西乡海鲜市场)

Add: 3102 Bao’an Boulevard, Bao’an District (宝安区宝安大道3102号)

Metro: Line 1, Pingzhou Station (平洲站), Exit A

• Shajing Seafood Market (沙井海鲜市场)

Add: 20 Minzhu Boulevard, Shajing, Bao’an District (宝安区沙井民主大道20号)

Metro: Line 11, Shajing Station (沙井站), Exit A and then take a taxi

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Source: Shenzhen Daily

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