Ever wanted to impress your friends with a pinky-up worthy spread of oysters and champs as an appetizer? Don't let the thought of having to shuck the shells stop you. Click onward to learn how to clean, shuck, and serve these tasty bivalves!
Step 1: Clean and store
When purchasing oysters from your local fishmonger, make sure to only get those that are completely sealed. Just like muscles, these bad boys are alive and kicking; any opened shells signify they have gone bad and should not be consumed. Once home, store your oysters in the fridge in a bowl with the cup side down and their flat side facing up. Cover with a wet kitchen towel to keep them moist until ready to shuck. Prior to shucking, place your oysters in a colander or strainer and give them a good rinsing. If there is substantial debris, scrub lightly with a scrub brush.
Step 2: Open the hinge
Place the oyster “cup-side” down on a folded dish towel on a sturdy surface. Be sure to protect the hand holding the oyster with the towel. Place your shucking knife (either an actual oyster knife or a blunt, durable knife) into the hinge of the oyster at an angle. Wiggle the knife into the hinge until it seems it can’t go any farther. Put strong but delicate pressure on the knife and give it a twist to the right until the shell pops open.
Step 3: Free the oyster from the shell
Once the shell has popped open, scrape the top of the shell with the knife to release the oyster from its grip. Once you remove the top shell, slide your knife under the oyster’s bottom half to loosen it for eating.
Step 4: Serve!
Once your oysters are shucked, place them atop a bed of crushed ice along with your favorite toppings (think lemon and hot sauce). Be sure to eat them promptly. Enjoy!