Tips for Preparing the Perfect Oysters

Oysters have significant nutritional value and are enjoyed by many people either cooked or raw. Preparing the perfect oyster can be easy with a few tips. Follow these few simple steps to enjoy the perfect oyster.

1. Serve Oysters in the Raw

Oyster aficionados will not eat an oyster unless it is served raw. While both cooking and eating the oyster raw is acceptable, many people prefer to savor the delicate flavor of raw oysters on the half-shell. These oysters are often served with fresh lemon, with spicy cocktail sauce or with mignonette sauce and grated horseradish. Raw oysters are best when served on a bed of ice and chilled. When served with thin crackers and buttered pumpernickel, oysters are a huge success.

2. Steam, Broil, Smoke or Bake Oysters

Oysters can be steamed for a few seconds and served in a dish. Alternatively, oysters can be microwaved on high for 30 to 60 seconds. The shells will open, and the meat of the oyster can be removed and eaten.

3. Shucking Oysters

Shucking oysters is easier if placed in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. The oyster meat will be removed easily when the muscles are relaxed.

4. Use Herbs to Flavor

Oysters have a naturally salty taste and do not require additional salt, but herbs will help to add additional flavor. Thyme, paprika, parsley and fennel seed are often used to season the oysters and add additional flavor.

5. Cook Oysters Gently

Oysters should be cooked gently for the best flavor. Otherwise, oysters will be rubbery and chewy. The edges will curl when the oysters have had enough heat.

6. Choose Smaller and Younger Oysters

Choose oysters that are younger and smaller. These oysters are more likely to be tender.

7. Clean Oysters Thoroughly

Oysters should be cleaned thoroughly for maximum enjoyment. The cleaning process involves selecting the best oysters and removing the seaweed. Any mud on the shells must also be removed. The oysters should be thoroughly cleaned but should not be scrubbed or soaked in water. Since the oysters may be served in the raw, it is important for the shells to be cleaned properly to avoid debris in the culinary dish.

8. Learn to Open an Oyster Properly

Place a kitchen towel over your left hand. Then, place an oyster in the towel and insert the oyster knife into the shell of the oyster. Twist the knife until the shell opens. When the shell is opened, the pearl-like oyster interior will be revealed. The oyster’s interior meat will be removed and prepared separately. Simply slide the knife under the oyster meat until the umbilical cord is cut. When opening the shell, there will be some resistance. Just be firm with the oyster. This process of cleaning oysters is instrumental to ultimate enjoyment. Always remember to remove the any shell particles inside the oyster. Shell particles are hazards and may result in choking.

~Author Bio~

Holly is a chef at Flying Fish Restaurant in Sydney, Australia. Holly is an avid seafood lover, and enjoys nothing more than some freshly prepared oysters. She understands oysters can be a little difficult to prepare well, and is always happy to offer some tips of preparing the perfect oysters.

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