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How To Cook Fish & Seafood

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How to Easily Shuck Fresh Oysters

Opening oysters, known as shucking, requires a certain amount of skill, which can easily be attained with some practice. The preferred method is to use an oyster knife which is a variant of a shucking knife which has a short and thick blade that is about 2 inches long. So now you have the right tool for the job, how so we best use it?

Before shucking, I advise you to give them all a good scrub under running water first and then place the oysters in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes to help relax the mussels for an easier job. Once removed from the freezer, insert the knife blade with a fair amount of force at the hinge between the two valves.

Then you will want to twist the blade until you hear a slight pop. Then slide the blade upward to cut the adductor muscle (itís like an umbilical cord) which holds the shell closed. Be very careful not to apply too much force as you donít want to give yourself a serious injury if the blade slips. Heavy gloves are advised to help prevent this, but not only from the sharp knife, but the shell itself can be razor sharp too.

Fresh shucked oysterIf the oyster has a reasonably soft shell, the knife can be inserted into the side door as such, which is about halfway along one side where the oyster lips widen and there is a small indentation. You will want to do this over a bowl so that you can catch the oysterís juices. Now scrape the meat from the top shell into the bottom shell. Use the knife to cut the oyster from the bottom shell, or serve it on the half shell and preferably give it a wash to remove any grit or shell fragments for taste and a better presentation.




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