Friday, April 2, 2010

Aw Shucks! A Lesson in How to Shuck Oysters

This has been a fabulous Spring Break! With plenty of excitement and a couple new adventures. Last Fall, I had my first raw oyster at the J Winery Bubble Room. It was so good, I was hooked! I couldn't believe I had waited so long!

When my mother and I went on our wine tasting adventure on Saturday, we also went on a hunt for the elusive oyster! We found ourselves by Tomales Bay at the Tomales Bay Oyster Company and then at the Hog Island Oyster Company. We bought oysters at each (why not!) and at Tomales Bay Oyster Company, my mom and I found a table to enjoy our goods.

One problem. I had NO IDEA how to open an oyster!!! For those of you who have been shucking since birth, this post is probably not for you. However if you are like me and want to spend time on the beach shucking oysters and drinking sparkling wine but you don't know how to shuck, here's the basics.

The first step is to secure the oyster. Our picnic table came with a horseshoe attached for this very purpose. However, I discovered later that evening while shucking at a party that you can also hold the oyster in a towel to help grasp it (and prevent injury!).

Next, find the weak point in the hinge and insert your flat head screwdriver or fancy oyster shucker. Check out my mom's skills! You may have to chip a little shell to get in there but be careful not to push the bits of shell into the cavity. Yuck! No one wants oyster shell chips with their goodies.

You will want to work your tool around the rim, loosening the muscle inside. The muscle of the oyster attaches to each side of the shell, so you will also need to slide your knife/shucker/screw driver above the oyster inside of the shell to cut the muscle. My camera couldn't capture this unfortunately!

Once you have removed the top shell, you will want to slide your blade under the oyster to break it away from the bottom shell. This will allow it to slide right out, like we are used to in a fine dining establishment.

You can dress your oyster however you want. My mom likes them as is. I enjoy them with a sprinkle of lime juice and a splash of hot sauce. However, if you get a chance to enjoy oysters with Hog Wash, you have to try it. Just scroll past all of the other fabulous recipes to find this fabulously easy condiment. This stuff is good and will sway anyone on the fence about the deliciousness of raw oysters!

Pacific Oyster on FoodistaPacific Oyster


Christo Gonzales said...

let me do part two of this tutorial - the part where I slurp them down as fast as you shuck them!

Mo Diva said...

My first oyster was with you my dear so i beleive that next time i see you we shall have a shucking partay!

R3 Method Show said...

Wow, I learn something new everyday!

Carolyn Jung said...

That's a workout. I've only shucked them a few times, but lemme tell ya, some are definitely easier to open than others. I've definitely worked up a good sweat trying to crack a few stubborn ones open. ;)

chow and chatter said...

oh I haven't tried them maybe I need to great tutorial Happy Easter Rebecca

sophia said...

I've always heard that shucking oysters are tough! I've never done them myself. I think I prefer the slurping part! lol.

p.s. about the kaya (aka coconut jam) it DOES make a lot, but I made a double can always trim it down to half, and you don't even need a slowcooker, just cook it nice and slow on the stove. I think it's totally worth a try, and it certainly didn't last long for me!

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial, I definitely needed these tips!


I get asked by readers if I am being paid to push products. The simple answer is no. In fact, most of the products I write about are ones I have found and purchased during my trips to the grocery store or on the road. Occasionally, a company will send a sample my way and if I believe the product will serve a need for my readers and I would buy the product myself, then I will share it with you. Sometimes I will write to a company after reading about it, if I believe it will help us lead healthier lifestyles. But even then, if the product doesn't pass my scrutiny, it won't make the screen of Uncovering Food. You can trust that every product or recipe posted here has passed through my lips, and that I wouldn't blog about it if it wasn't worthy of you... my favorite readers.