New recipes

How to Shuck Raw Oysters


Greg Babinecz, the raw bar manager of San Francisco's Waterbar, demonstrates how to shuck an oyster

Jessica Chou

Raw oysters on a half-shell are the best in the winter, but serving them at home is just a tad intimidating, mostly due to the expert shucking skills required to serve a dozen.

Greg Babinecz of San Francisco's Waterbar showed The Daily Meal how to shuck oysters two different ways: in your hand, or on a cutting board. Of course, a glove and protection is suggested for both methods, as well as a Boston-style shucker, which Babinecz recommends for a novice oyster shucker (around $12, Babinecz says, at any kitchen supply store).

"There are a couple of different style shuckers that work specicially for other oysters, but I find the Boston shucker to be the most universal," Babinecz says. This is coming from a guy who won the oyster shucking competition at OysterFest 2010.

Watch the video for the basics in oyster shucking, and then practice on some 10,000 oysters (carefully!) before you get any good.


Mignonette Sauce

Chris Lishman / Getty Images

It may sound fancy, but the mignonette sauce is easy to make. Combine a finely minced shallot with about 1/4 cup champagne vinegar and add salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let people drizzle mignonette sauce on their oysters, and, to follow the French tradition more fully, offer thinly sliced rye bread and fresh butter alongside.


How to Open Oysters

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.

There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 25,330 times.

Fresh oysters are a delicious treat, but getting them free from the shell takes some practice. Before opening oysters, familiarize yourself with the parts of your oyster so you know how to handle it correctly. The top, flat part of the shell is the lid, while the main part of the oyster with the edible meat is in the lower shell. These 2 parts are held together by the adductor muscle. The thin edges of the oyster are the lips, and the small, thick area where the two shells join is the hinge. [1] X Research source You can open oysters by shucking raw oysters, or grilling, boiling, or steaming oysters to open and cook them simultaneously.


How to Shuck Oysters

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.

There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 93% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 227,429 times.

Shucking oysters fresh oysters is the delicate process of entering the shell and removing the meat without losing the oyster's nectar, the delectable juice inside. Breaking into the tough shell to get to the succulent parts requires a firm hand and the right supplies. Learn how to choose oysters for shucking, the proper technique for shucking them, and how to slurp them when they're free from their shells.


Storing Choptank Sweets

RECEIVING YOUR OYSTERS

When you receive your oysters, make sure to open the container right away to give them oxygen: they are alive! Keep them in the refrigerator to maintain them in a cool temperature before you serve and eat them. (Put them on ice when you're ready to serve them raw.) You may leave them in their box, or put them in a bowl with a damp cloth (don’t let it dry out) laid over them - but handle them gently and do not leave them in standing (fresh)water or in a closed plastic bag. If you do choose to store them in an opened plastic bag, make sure to insert a damp cloth.


SERVING OYSTERS

Raw oysters should be eaten fresh do not cook or eat a dead oyster. Once an oyster has died (likely damaged during shipment), the shell opens up and the oyster dries out. Always keep live oysters (shucked, or unshucked) refrigerated open to the air and oxygenated, providing them a damp cloth for their hydration. Once shucked, continue to keep them cool - serving raw oysters on ice is necessary to keep them safe. You may cook oysters (shucked or unshucked) if you wish. However, cooking oysters will obviously kill them, yet these delectable mollusks cooked fresh from our shipment will be succulent ingredients for any dish you desire to prepare. Hopefully, enjoyed in one our enticing recipes.


Skip the Shucking and Grill Your Oysters

Fresh oysters on the half shell at home are great&mdashunless you&rsquore the shucker. Then fresh oysters on the half shell at home means exhausting, messy, potentially injurious work. We have a solution: For super-easy oyster prep, just chuck them on the grill.

Fresh oysters on the half shell at home are great—unless you’re the shucker. Then fresh oysters on the half shell at home means exhausting, messy, potentially injurious work. We have a solution: For super-easy oyster prep, just chuck them on the grill. The shells will pop open when the oysters are done. Here, six buttery, briny recipes for grilled oysters.

1. Grilled Oysters with Spicy Tarragon Butter
Chef Bobby Flay tops his oysters with a blend of butter, tarragon and hot sauce.

2. Grilled Oysters with Spiced Tequila Butter
The perfect party snack, these oysters are drizzled with tequila-spiked spiced butter.

3. Grilled Oysters with Chorizo Butter
The tangy butter in this surf-and-turf-style recipe is studded with spicy chorizo.

4. Fire-Grilled Oysters with Green Garlic and Pastis Butter
The mingling of oyster juices with butter, herbs, chile and pastis makes these irresistibly slurpable.

5. Grilled Oysters with Tabasco-Leek Butter
Sweet, melted leeks are delicious with plump, smoky oysters.

6. Grilled Oysters with Fennel Butter
Fennel fronds give the butter in this recipe a delicious freshness.


5. Dislodge the Oyster

Carefully slip the tip of the oyster knife underneath the body of the oyster into the muscle where the muscle meets the shell. Slice through it to fully detach the meat from its shell. At this point the oyster has been dislodged from the shell completely and can be served or cooked.

If you are planning to serve the oyster on the half shell but accidentally damaged it in the shucking process, simply slip the knife underneath and gently turn it over. The flip-side of the oyster can be better looking than a damaged top.


Jacques Pépin’s Trick for Shucking Clams Without the Hassle

A good clam is perfect just the way it is. The only hassle is shucking it.

Enter Jacques Pepin’s neat trick for shucking clams without the trouble. “Put them in a 350º oven for six to seven minutes by that time they are not cooked, but they are transformed enough for the shell to start cracking up.” At that point, prying open the suckers is a breeze.

The slight oven warming means you’ll want to chill the clams if you plan to serve them raw, or you can go ahead and cook them like Pepin does in the video above. He dresses his clams simply, with either a balsamic–scallion–chive sauce or an herbed up beurre blanc. Either sauce goes perfectly with clams, and you can whip them up in the time it takes to ‘pre-shuck’ those clams in the oven.

MORE TO READ

On Pastry-Making and the Punk Rock Appeal of Pop-ups

In the lead-up to their first culinary collab, Natasha Pickowicz and Doris Hồ-Kane sit down to talk about staying scrappy.


Oyster Recipes

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Cucumber & Mint

10 tbsp cucumber finely diced

4 tbsp red onion finely diced

4 tbsp mint leaves finely chopped

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Soy Mignonette

1/2 spring onion finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette

10 tbsp cucumber finely diced

1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled, finely grated

2 spring onions finely sliced

4 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Green Apple Mignonette

1 granny smith apple peeled, finely diced

1 tbsp chives finely sliced

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Mixed Herbs

1/4 bunch each of basil, parsley, sage, chives, thyme finely chopped

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Pear, Apple & Parmesan

1 granny smith apple finely diced

8 tbsp parmesan cheese finely grated

500ml apple juice reduced to syrup

Mix pear, apple and cheese together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of mix, and drizzle with apple juice.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Pomegranate

1/2 spring onion finely sliced

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with Shallots & Red Wine Vinegar

1 spring onion finely sliced

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Oysters with a Summer Salsa

1 medium red tomato de-seeded, finely chopped

4 tbsp cucumber peeled, finely chopped

2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place bowl in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Our cooked oyster recipes

2 tbsp parsley finely chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes (or Tabasco Red Pepper sauce)

Shuck oysters and place oyster meat and liquor (the clear and filtered seawater found within the half shell) in a bowl and place in the fridge. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and cream. When the milk and cream is hot, add the oyster meat and liquor, parsley, chilli flakes, and salt and pepper. Stir until combined, and heat for a few minutes but do not over cook the oysters. Sppon the soup into bowls, and serve with slices of sourdough bread.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Thai Butter

1/4 red pepper de-seeded, finely chopped

2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes (or Tabasco Red Pepper sauce)

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, and place in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of mix. Grill oysters 1-3 minutes or until edges of the oyster meat starts to curl.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Blue Cheese & Whisky

1 tsp tarragon leaves minced

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, and place in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce. Grill oysters for 1-3 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and starts to brown.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Fennel Butter

1 tbsp fennel greens finely chopped

1 tbsp fennel seeds ground

1 tbsp spring onions minced

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, and place in the fridge. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce. Grill oysters for 1-3 minutes or until edges of the oyster meat starts to curl.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Herb Butter

1 tsp chilli flakes (or Tabasco Red Pepper sauce)

Heat small pan over medium heat. Add oil, butter and rest of ingredients. Stir until combined, then remove from heat. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce. Grill oysters for 1-3 minutes or until edges of the oyster meat starts to curl.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

2 rashers smoked bacon, rindless finely sliced

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Tabasco Red Pepper sauce

Heat small pan over medium heat. Add vinegar, butter and sauces. Stir until combined, then remove from heat. Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and fry bacon pieces until crispy. Shuck oysters. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce. Grill oysters for 1-2 minutes or until edges of the oyster meat starts to curl.

Recipe and photo by Simply Oysters

Shuck oysters and place oyster meat in a coriander to drain. Place oyster shells aside. Pat oyster meat dry with a kitchen paper towel. Dust oyster meat with flour. Dip floured oyster meat in bowl of beaten eggs. Coat floured oyster meat with breadcrumbs. Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and fry oyster meat until golden brown on one side, then turn oyster meat over do same on other side. Place fried oysters in oyster shells.