If you’re an oyster aficionado, here’s how you know it. Any time you’re near any city that’s anywhere near any water, you’re all about the raw bar. You can’t help but crave many somethings that are fresh and salty, spicy and lemony. You find yourself Googling away, trying to locate the nearest Happy Hour—and not of the cocktail variety. The difference between Atlantic and Pacific is never about the geography but rather the taste of your favourite aphrodisiac.
Yes, oysters are the ultimate love food, and that’s why this Valentine’s Day—and actually, all year round—you need to be guzzling them by the dozen to make everyone happy.
So here’s our gift: We’re bringing this delicacy home to you. Ready to enjoy a night shucking oysters and making a platter of sexfood? Thanks to this handy guide from the incomparable Chef Zach Albertsen (of The Forth restaurant in Toronto), you’ll never need to wait to satisfy that special craving again.
HOW TO SHUCK YOUR OWN OYSTERS
- Step 1: Insert tip of shucking knife into the back of the oyster in between the shells. Use the knife to lift the top shell from the bottom shell, concentrating only at the back part of the shell. Be careful. This is the step that most people have accidents with. Feel free to wrap your hand in a hand towel to avoid injuring yourself.
- Step 2: Slide the shucking knife towards the front of the oyster and separate the inductor mussel from the top and bottom shell.
- Step 3: Remove the top shell of the oyster.
How to Shuck an Oyster
Raw bars are where it's at these days. But why go out when you can get your mollusk fix at home? Follow these easy steps, courtesy of Chef Zach Albertsen of The Forth in Toronto, and shuck your own.
Tool of the trade
You'll need a good shucking knife. Your local fish-monger or a good grocery store will have them. Also, have an absorbent bar towel handy.
Insert the tip of the shucking knife into the back of the oyster in between the shell halves.
Use the knife to lift the top shell from the bottom shell, concentrating only at the back part of the shell.
Be careful. This is the step where accidents can happen. Feel free to wrap your hand in a towel to avoid injuring yourself.
Slide the shucking knife towards the front of the oyster and separate the inductor muscle from the top and bottom shell.
Remove the top shell of the oyster.
Smell the oyster to make sure it's fresh. It should smell of the deep sea and have lots of natural juice/sea water in the shell. Discard if it smells at all funky.
Separate the muscle of the oyster from the bottom shelf while being careful to keep all juice inside the shell.
Now the oyster is loose from the shell.
Place on ice and enjoy immediately with your favourite fixings.
- Step 4: Smell the oyster to make sure it is fresh. It should smell of the deep sea and have lots of its natural juice/sea water in the shell. If something smells funky in a bad way, the oyster has probably gone off. Make sure you discard it.
- Step 5 Separate the muscle of the oyster from the bottom shell while being careful to keep all juice inside the shell. Now the oyster is loose from the shell.
- Step 6 Place on ice and enjoy immediately.
- fresh squeeze of lemon (my personal favourite)
- freshly grated horseradish
- mignonette (see our Champagne Mignonette recipe below)
- 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons shallot, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Whisk all ingredients together and serve.