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Test Kitchen tips: Shucking an oyster

January 10, 2012 | 12:40 pm

Although the pro cess doesn't take a lot of brawn, shucking an oyster does take care and know-how
If you've never opened an oyster before, the thought of shucking one might be a bit intimidating. Although the process doesn't take a lot of brawn, shucking an oyster does take care and know-how. And an oyster knife. 

Here's a quick step-by-step tutorial:

1. Use a folded towel to hold the oyster and protect your hand. Place the tip of an oyster knife into the hinge end of the oyster and gently twist the knife to break the hinge, opening the oyster.

Although the process doesn't take a lot of brawn, shucking an oyster does take care and know-how
2. Gently push the knife sideways halfway into the oyster. Twist again to open without spilling the oyster liquor (the liquid in the shell with the oyster).

Although the process doesn't take a lot of brawn, shucking an oyster does take care and know-how
3. Carefully loosen the oyster from the bottom muscle, using a spoon or the tip of the oyster knife, but leave it in its half shell. Set aside on ice.

Although the process doesn't take a lot of brawn, shucking an oyster does take care and know-how
Oyster knives are available at gourmet and kitchen supply stores, and typically run about $10. Look for a knife that has a non-slip handle and a guard (the oval or round piece of metal separating the blade from the handle) to protect your hand from slipping.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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-- Noelle Carter
twitter.com/noellecarter

Photo credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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