Tuesday, May 31, 2016

HOW TO: Shuck Oysters

Today we received oysters in our CSF box from Real Good Fish. I'll admit: I have a love-hate relationship with oysters. I love them. Loved them. But, after one too many oysters in New Orleans when we were there for a SCUBA convention many, many moons ago, I developed a sensitivity to them. Yes, I may have had over a dozen raw oysters on my own. Maybe. In any case, I was miserable - stomach cramping and all - for an entire day. And, ever since, it's a fifty-fifty chance that I'll have the same reaction. I've eaten half a dozen fresh oysters from Morro Bay that didn't affect me at all; then I've eaten just one from Tomales Bay that sent me to bed in tears. There's no rhyme or reason to it. So, I usually steer clear.

But these were so fresh that I decided to risk it. First, though, I had to shuck them. We received 16 in our share and I haven't shucked oysters in, probably, two decades. So, I watched a quick click on YouTube and gave it a go.

You'll need...

  • live oysters (make sure the shells are tightly closed)
  • cold water
  • a dish towel
  • a dull, but stiff knife (I don't have a shucking knife. I used a heavy duty butter knife.)
  • small, shallow bowl

What to do...
Scrub the oysters clean with a brush. Rinse with cold water.

Place the oyster on a towel in the palm of your hand. Have a small, shallow bowl nearby.

Hold the oyster with the rounded side down, the flatter side up, and grip the side of the oyster that doesn't have the hinge.

Insert the knife into the hinge and twist. Some oysters are easier to shuck than others. If the oyster is resistant, insert the knife deeper into the hinge and twist again.

As soon as the oyster is partly opened, slide the shell open. Hold it over the bowl and let the juices drain into the bowl.

Run the knife around the perimeter to fully open the oysters. You can scrape the meat from the shell. Or, if like me, you plan to steam them on the half shell, leave them attached.

I steamed them in their own juices with some picked garlic and a dab of red chili paste. Yum.

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