Oyster Floss | Product of Vietnam
Oyster floss is a type of food made from the meat of Pacific oysters (Magallana gigas) along with shrimp, pork, fish sauce, sugar and salt, which becomes a product with high nutritional value. This is a specialty product of Vân Đồn district of northern Vietnam’s Quảng Ninh province. It is also a meaningful gift that tourists often buy when visiting this land.
Quảng Ninh province currently has over 3,000 hectares of water surface for oyster farming. Most of oyster farms are located in Bái Tử Long Bay area, in Vân Đồn district. With a high concentration of oyster farming, many people consider Vân Đồn as the ‘oyster capital’ not only of the province, but also of the country of Vietnam.
Oysters in Vân Đồn are mainly Pacific oysters, and raised under the model that employs rafting and dropping ropes. Oysters are molluscs that only feed on planktons and algaes in sea water, so there is no need to feed during the farming process. Instead, farmers monitor and check the oyster ropes regularly to make sure their oysters are healthy and grow normally. After 4-5 months of submerging in the natural environment, oysters grow to about 7-10 cm in length, and 60-80 grams in weight, which are commercial standards for harvesting. At this time, the oysters have grown thick and rich in nutrients such as magnesium, zinc… After separating the mature oysters from the clinging materials, the oysters are transported to the seafood port and taken to processing plants to undergo the production process on the same day.
At the oyster processing factory, workers wash the mud and soil on the oyster shells by scubbing the oyster shells with a brush. As a result, when shelling, bacteria are not cross-contaminated into oyster meat. The shelling process is done by hand skillfully so as not to break the shell pieces into the meat. Oyster meat is rinsed with dilute salt water to clean the slime and then get sautéed. The sautéeing (or stir-frying) duration is about 15 minutes at a temperature of 140-150 degrees Celsius. After stir-frying process, oyster meat is dried, shredded and transferred to the stage of mixing with shrimp and pork floss in a certain ratio.
Oyster floss is packed into jars and pasteurized for 4-5 minutes at a temperature of 150 degrees Celsius, then labeled and transported to the market. During the process, workers must wear disinfected work clothes, gloves, and masks. Machines and tools such as tubs and trays are cleaned before and after use.
Oysters have high nutritional value, rich in zinc, low in fat, and do not contain bad cholesterol, which then help reduce cardiovascular risk, increase vitality and increase immunity for the body. Standard oyster floss looks spongy like pork floss, has a typical sweet and fatty taste of oysters but does not have fishy smell. Oyster floss is often served with congee, sticky rice, bread, rice, suitable for both adults and children aged 3 years and older. .
The best known oyster floss brand is from Quang Ninh Seafood Trading & Production Co., Ltd, better known as Bavavi. This is also a pioneer seafood farming and processing company in Quảng Ninh province. Their oyster floss product contains: fresh oysters (50%), pork (29%), shrimp (20%), Vân Đồn fish sauce, sugar, salt.
The product has been certified as a 5-star OCOP product. The acronym OCOP stands for “one commune one product” is a Vietnam’s economic development program in rural areas and also an unofficial quality accessment. OCOP products are rated from 3 – 5 stars scale.