The plump oyster is always a crowd pleasing favourite and the oyster bar is often crowded with an admiring gaggle of viewers watching a master shuck oysters with ease and skill. Learn how to shuck yourself.
There are some culinary manoeuvres that are utterly mesmerizing — kneading dough, flawlessly icing a cookie, and shucking oysters are a few that spring to mind. The seemingly magical flick of the wrist that gently pries the little mollusk open to reveal its juicy, plump interior is a skill that is most often left to the professionals, but with a few easy-to-learn techniques you too can master the magnificent oyster!
Best Served Cold
As the mollusks will be served raw, the best way to preserve freshness is by keeping them on the half shell and lay out on a pewter tray with a thick bed of crushed ice.
Mignonette – Oysters best friend
Not everyone is head over heels eating raw oysters, but aided by a little lift of acidic pepper sauce, or a squeeze of lemon, their opinion can instantly change. Another choice is the classic mignonette — a blend of shallot, vinegar and S&P. Turn things up another notch with the addition of sambal olek, the Asian garlic and red chili peppers with a warming heat, or finely slice ginger and green apple with a squeeze of lemon.
Oyster Types – Get to know 3 Canadian Faves
West Coast Kumamoto: Small, sweet and mildly briny often described as having a honeydew finish.
Royal Miyagi: These white or purple smooth shelled oysters are prized for their mild, creamy flavour.
Beausoleil: Farmed on Canada’s east coast, these dark shelled oysters are clean and light in flavour.
Get a Hold on ‘Em
The narrow pointed blade of this knife carefully eases open oysters with tapered hinged edges. To open, grab a towel with your non-dominant hand with the oyster hinge toward you. Using the knife, gently move around the hinge. When you feel the knife inserted into the shell, reach for the muscle in one swoop until you hear a ‘click’. Run the knife around the entire shell to cleanly open, presenting the half shell. Rinse with water.
Crate and Barrel Blue Oyster Knife, 11.95; crateandbarrel.com
Present On Bed of Salt
Having a gathering? An easy presentation trick is to serve oysters on a bed of salt, which prevents the oysters from moving too much on the serving tray.
This original products we love article first appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.