how to shuck an oyster sydney catering
how to shuck an oyster
With many catering events where The Roo Brothers Catering has set up food stations, either for a wedding or corporate event we often get asked on "how to shuck an oyster" without injury, but retaining all the juices. Why do you need to shuck an oyster, on site, anyway? But before we shuck our oyster we need to buy from a reputable supplier and store correctly.
Buying oysters in Sydney
With so many varieties of oysters to choose from, such as the Pacific Oyster, the Sydney Rock Oyster, Angasi (flat) Oyster ( my favourite ), Milky Oyster, and the Blacklip Oyster. The last two are not as common as the pacific or the sydney rock. It is important that you buy as fresh as possible, we need these little mollusks alive! Always ask your fishmonger, what region are the oysters from and when were they havested. Oysters that look wet and have a fresh sea smell are the freshest. The oyster that is dry, sunken into the shell and smells fishy is too old. Oysters should be tightly shut before you buy them or open them - if they are already open, they may have perished and are not safe to eat.
Storage of your oysters
From their harvest date, unopened Sydney Rock Oysters should be kept close to 20°C for up to 14 days and unopened Pacific Oysters at 5°C for up to 7 days. So that they can breathe and keep cool, wrap or cover oysters in a damp cloth. Storing in plastic, in water or on ice will kill them! Cover and refrigerate at 2 - 5°C within 30 minutes after opening your oysters if not eating them straight away.
Source: Oyster Australia
The best way to eat an oyster is freshly shucked, unwashed in its natural brine and, if you are a purist like me, with no dressing. This is the main reason why we shuck all our oysters, just before and during guest arrival. Their alive! So how do you shuck an oyster. First of all you need
- A tea towel
- A cutting board - preferable a large one
- A good high quality, sharp oyster knife
- A bit of muscle
- And a touch of patience
1) Wrap a teatowel over one hand and use it to hold the oyster firmly.
2) Using the oyster shucking knife in the other hand, place the tip of the shucking knife at the base of the hinge, twist the knife using pressure from side to side, then without the pressure, lever the knife upwards, or twist it to prise the hinge open. Be gentle, but firm so not to damage the oyster or lose any of those lovely juice.
3) Slide the knife under the top shell to release the oyster and flip it over, leave in the shell to serve on a bed of ice, with lemon limes, tabasco, and a pepper grinder. Flick out any bits of shell with your knife.
Remembering that once the abductor has been cut the oyster will die. So eat straight away and you will taste the difference.
I do love a good oyster with a lovely chilled glass of aged riesling
Another method to shuck a lot of oysters in a matter of minutes, though I haven't tried it myself.
What you do is soften the abductor muscle—the bit that connects those tasty little sea creatures to their shells—by sticking the oysters in boiling water, then icing them down right quick so they don't cook.
Further reading Other shucking techniques