How to Shuck & Present Oysters Like a Pro!

August 20, 2014

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A few months ago I attended an oyster shucking event held at the I Yellow Wine club in Toronto. I am not going to lie, I was pretty intimidated to have my first oyster shucking experience in front of a bunch of pros. And while I did manage to shuck my first oyster, my left-handed tendencies gave me a lot of trouble, and I had my instructor very worried that I was going to stab myself. After that ordeal I stayed away from shucking at home and stuck to ordering them at restaurants. That is until my boyfriend surprised me with an oyster shucking kit and said he felt like it was something I should learn if I love oysters so much. I tried it again with my new tools, and made sure to take my time. To my amazement I found the second time around much easier, and can now shuck oysters to my heart’s content!

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Step 1: I start my oyster tray by getting together all of my sides. I like to use grated horse-radish, lemon slices and tabasco sauce. After prepping the sides, set them aside.  3

Step 2: Fill a platter or tray full of crushed ice. Make sure to do this just before serving the oysters as the ice melts quickly.

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 Step 3: To shuck an oyster make sure that the side of the oyster with the deeper scoop is facing down. You will need a lot of pressure to open an oyster shell so make sure to protect yourself by covering the your hand with a towel and shuck away from your body.

Step 4: Place the oyster on a flat surface and hold it firmly in the towel. Put the tip of your oyster knife inside the hinge using a fair amount of pressure. Keeping the pressure on the oyster wiggle it loose by twisting the knife back and forth.

Step 5: You will feel the oysters hinge pop after wiggling it a few times. If you find it difficult you may have to apply more pressure. Once the hinge has popped, insert your knife into the top of the oyster shell and slide it along the top. Doing this allows the muscle to come loose. Once the muscle is sliced the top part of the shell will come loose allowing you to see the oyster.

Step 6: Gently slide your knife underneath the oyster. Being careful not to pierce it. Scrape the bottom of the shell allowing it to come loose from the bottom muscle.

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Step 7: Place oysters on top of the tray filled with ice and arrange toppings accordingly.

Step 8: Serve oysters with a refreshing glass of white wine. There is a great guide for wine and oyster pairings here. I paired mine with a chardonnay and although the writer in the pairing article doesn’t choose chardonnay as his first choice, really enjoyed it.7

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