Oysters on the Half Shell

Appetizer kit

TIME: 15 minutes

MAKES: 12 oysters

Premium Oysters
Champagne Mignonette
Thai Cucumber Salsa
Oyster Knife

DO use a cocktail fork or your finger to nudge the oyster loose from its shell before slurping.
DON’T puncture or otherwise ravage the oyster body with that fork.
DON’T pour out the oyster’s liquor.  It’s essentially the filtered seawater from where the oyster came from, and it’s a major investor in the flavor profile.
DO eat the first one naked, then choose a sauce or a little lemon to complement its flavor.
DO chew the meat to release its sweetness, don’t just swallow the darn thing.
DO pay attention to the flavor and texture from beginning to end.
DO try at least two pieces of a kind to better judge how they generally taste.

Note: oyster shucking can be tricky and dangerous.  To avoid being cut by the knife or oyster shell, please exercise caution, go slow, and use a thick towel to protect your hand.

1. Lay a thick towel on a hard countertop, place each oyster on the towel flat side up, and wrap the end of the towel around the oyster shell so that the hinge is exposed. With your non-dominant hand, hold the oyster securely against the counter.

2. Place the tip of the knife into the hinge of the oyster.  Twist the knife back and forth as you push it into the gap, working it into the hinge. Keep the knife angled slightly downward (towards the counter) to avoid cutting your fingers if the knife slips.

3. Work the knife into the shell until it pops open.  Keep the oyster flat, you don’t want to lose any of the juice inside the shell.

4. Scrape the knife against the flat side of the shell to cut away the muscle holding the oyster to the shell.  Once you’ve removed the top, do the same to the bottom cup, turning over the oyster once it’s detached.  

5. Remove any small pieces of shell that break off into the oyster and serve on crushed ice with the champagne mignonette and Thai cucumber salsa.

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Updated November 24th, 2020

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