How to Shuck an Oyster
To shuck like a pro, all you need is a sharp knife, a kitchen towel, and all of the fresh oysters you can eat. At the market, select the freshest, highest quality oysters available. The shell should be closed or quickly snap shut when tapped; if it is open, the oyster is no longer alive and unsafe to eat. The best oysters still smell fresh and salty like the sea – never “fishy” – and feel heavier from their natural juices
1. Wash and chill. Rinse the oysters very well under cold running water to remove the ocean grit, then place them on ice for an hour to ensure that they are perfectly chilled.
2. Slip the knife into the hinge. Using a folded kitchen towel – trust us, these jagged shells are no joke – hold the oyster in one hand with the larger, bottom shell facing down. Insert the knife into the hinge (the pointed end that connects the top and bottom shells), keeping the shell as level as possible to reserve the delicious juices.
3. Twist and pop. Putting gentle pressure on the knife, twist the blade to pop the shell, slowly and carefully running the blade along the top of the tightly-closed shell to sever the muscle.
4. Release the oyster. Cut under the oyster to release it from the bottom of the shell. Discard the top shell, and serve the opened oyster in its juices on the bottom shell on a bed of crushed ice.
5. Season. At Eataly, our chefs love to drizzle oysters in freshly-squeezed lemon juice or our housemade mignonette sauce (simply: shallots, white vinegar, pinch of sugar, pinch of salt, and freshly-ground pepper, all to taste).
6. Slurp, and enjoy!