January 15, 2010

Shucking Oysters with Laurence Edelman


Freshly Shucked Oysters


Shucking Oysters w/ Exec Chef Edelman

On Thurday, I got a chance to learn how to shuck oysters with a true expert: Laurence Edelman, executive chef at The Mermaid Oyster Bar and The Mermaid Inn. Gaining hands-on experience with oyster shucking was one of the first things on my 2010 resolution list. Not only was this "birthday gift" super fun to learn, it's a gift that just keeps on giving. (Free agent oysters out there: you better watch out.)

I managed to complete about half a dozen oysters without stabbing myself. The trick is to find the right spot in the oyster's hinge to shimmy the knife into. Once the hinge is broken, the rest is just about scraping the abductor muscle loose and carefully prying it open. Then remove any shell bits from the meat gently with your finger. I shucked both East and West coast oysters and found that the East coast ones were generally easier due to their flatter bills. Each oyster is different though, so you never quite know what you might come up against. I finished the Shucking 101 with a Royal Miyagi from British Columbia. It was a tricky one to open, but that only made savoring its mild, briny meat all the more enjoyable.

Many thanks again to Laurence and the wonderful team at The Mermaid Oyster Bar!

If you're interested in learning how to shuck an oyster, check out this "How To" video with Chef Edelman!


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