Oyster Shucking Novice – How I Learned to Shuck Some B.C. Beauties!
Learning to Shuck Oysters to me is a basic necessary skill, like being able to properly open a bottle of Champagne. I’m in it to capture every drop, and not waste. Finesse is what its about. But finding those fresh and savoury, in-season oysters is the first step.
For consistently excellent quality seafood, live clams, oysters, mussels, crabs and lobsters, and sometimes sea urchin, The Lobster Man on Granville Island is an excellent seafood shop! We have some of the most beautiful and delicious oysters in British Columbia, and Lobster Man carries a wide variety. The oysters are alive and cost between $1.00-$1.75 a piece, cheaper by the dozen. The Lobster Man has sold live shellfish since 1977 and are Vancouver’s premier destination for live lobster and crab. Choose among a wide variety of live shellfish from their tanks streaming 25,000 gallons of salt water. The staff were equally knowledgeable and very helpful for novices like me!
Farmed Oysters are Sustainable, Says David Suzuki
Farmed Oysters are a great local, sustainable, and zero waste food. Decorate your garden to keep pests away, or pulverize the shells and chuck them in your garden compost! Don’t buy dredged wild oysters, a process that is very damaging.
How to Shuck Oysters
Oysters have a two-part shell, the flatter top lid, and the rounder bottom cup. We shuck cup side down. Next find the hinge. Think of it like a slice of pie, the hinge is at the narrower corner, if you look, you’ll often see an indented area in this narrow corner, that is where you place the knife. It doesn’t take a lot of forced pushing and prying, its really just a wedging, with persistence. The oyster will give a bit at this natural joint. When the knife is in enough so that its stuck in, then you twist till the lid pops.
Once the lid is popped, scrape around the top of the inside lid to release the attached muscle.
Practice makes perfect, they say. And after a few dozen, different sized oysters, you’ll get the hand. I used a kitchen towel to both secure the oyster, and protect my hand/thumb.
As it was my first time, I needed an oyster knife. Also found at Granville Island, at the Market Kitchen Shop in the Net Loft, I went with a Good Grip Oyster Knife, about $10.00. It has a good medium sized grip, good for big and small hands, the blade was not too thin, so good for some of the massive sweet oysters we get locally, where you’ll need to pry a wide hinge.
As I need more practice, good thing its Oyster Season in B.C.
Have a great Oyster Season!!!
*Credit: Thanks Bernie for being my model! Yes, those are not my man paws.
The Lobster Man on Granville Island
1807 Mast Tower Rd., Vancouver, BC Canada V6H 3X7
Store Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 6pm
I watched some good YouTube videos teaching me how to shuck. Here was one I found very helpful:
Published on 30 Jan 2013- Kristy, Kristen, and Kenzi of Food52 show us three different ways to shuck oysters.