Oyster Recipes

Welcome to OysterRecipes.org, one of the very best collections of recipes for oysters on the internet. Below you will find a list of recipes currently on our website, simply click your chosen title to be taken to the full ingredient list and directions for that recipe. Enjoy!

How to open an oyster

Fresh oysters must be alive just before consumption. There is a simple criterion: oysters must be capable of closing the shell tightly. Any open oysters should be tapped on the shell: a live oyster will close up and is safe to eat. Oysters which are open and unresponsive are dead, and must be discarded. Some dead oysters, or oyster shells which are full of sand may also be closed, but they will make a distinctive noise when tapped: they are known as clackers for this reason.

Opening oysters requires skill, for live oysters, outside of the water, tend to shut themselves tightly with a powerful muscle thus sealing in their fluids. The generally used method for opening oysters is to use a special knife (called an oyster knife, a variant of a shucking knife), with a short and thick blade about 2 inches long.

The blade needs to be inserted (with some moderate force and vibration if necessary) at the hinge in the rear of the shell. with the blade inserted slightly you need to twist until a slight pop is heard/felt. Then the blade should be slid upward to cut the adductor muscle (which holds the shell closed). Inexperienced shuckers tend to apply excessive force, which may result in injuries if the blade slips. A heavy glove should always be worn: if you don't cut yourself with the knife you can just as easily cut yourself on the oyster shell itself, which can be razor sharp.

There is also a second way in, referred to as the sidedoor, which is about halfway along one side where the lips of the oyster widen so there is a slight indentation where a knife may successfully be inserted. This is generally a better way to open an oyster when it is a crumbler (i.e. one with a particularly soft shell either due to drills or the amount of calcium in the water). Either way, however, can be tricky when an oyster's shell is in such a poor condition.

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