Selecting and Preparing Oysters
When choosing oysters it's important that the oyster shells are
tightly closed and not broken. Discard any oysters with even a small
It helps to have a good, blunt oyster knife, and you might want to
wear gloves for protection.
- Scrub shells well with a brush and rinse thoroughly.
- Soak the washed oysters in cold water seasoned with medium-grain sea
salt (about 1 tablespoon per dozen oysters) for about 30 minutes.
Soaking in fresh water robs the oysters of their briny flavor. The
oysters are ready to be opened after they begin wiggling in the water.
Place the oysters in a tub of ice, then pluck them out one by one to be
- Hold the oyster with the curved bottom side in the palm of your hand
(the top side is flat). Insert the knife into the hinge and gently rock
it back and forth to pry open the oyster and cut the hinge. Before
tearing off the top shell, gently scrape off the abductor, the muscle
that opens and closes the shells, attached to the top shell. Avoid
puncturing the oyster meat. Be careful not to spill the liquid, as some
consider this the finest part of the oyster.
- Next, gently place the knife under the oyster and sever the abductor
on the bottom shell.
- Place oyster shells on a bed of ice and prepare or