Video:How to Shuck Oysterswith Rich Vellante
Want to treat yourself to the freshest seafood around? See how easy it is to shuck an oyster at home using an oyster knife.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Shuck OystersHello! I'm Rich Vellante, Executive Chef of Legal Sea Foods in Boston, MA, for About.com Food. Today I'm going to show you how to shuck an oyster. And what you need with oysters is obviously going to your local fish monger and buying some oysters.
Using an Oyster KnifeAnd also you will need an oyster knife. Now this is a very sturdy knife with a pointy end to it. You'll see a number of different styles but you can go to a store like William and Sonoma to purchase something like this.
Supplies Needed to Shuck an OysterThe other thing that you'll need is a dish towel. The other thing you can do is a type of glove. Now this glove which Ill use today but this glove will protect you if you are trying to open up the oyster and something hits you by mistake. It protects you from the pointy knife.
Find the Oyster HingeSo why don't we get going and try this technique. If you'll notice in the oyster, it's very very flat. It's almost seamless in the front of it. So the only area where there is a potential opening to actually hinge it is right in the back. And you'll see there is this natural hinge.
And that is what this type of knife is used for. You get that knife in that hinge you see how I can get some of that knife in there. It is essentially like a hinge and what I can do is work it in and then pop it open.
Slide the Oyster Knife Into the HingeYou can just hold it in your hand. But I would recommend for someone who is just starting out, what I would do is just grab a towel, place it on a firm board, and then hold down one side and it will give you some leverage. What you do is, this is the hinge area, and what I am doing is, I'll get the knife into that point and I'll establish a firm contact and wiggle it a little bit until I feel like it is solid. And then I'll turn the knife just a tad to pop it open.
Disconnect the Oyster From the ShellNow as you can see it is starting to pop open. But don't forget that the oyster is connected and it is connected right in this area. It is connected right to the top of the oyster. and it is also connected to the bottom shell. So remember just like a clam it is connected to the top and the bottom of the shell.
So what I have done is initially open up the hinge and what I want to do is run my knife along the top. I do not want to make contact with the oyster itself and sever it. Now I have turned my knife at an angle and running it along and feeling the top. I am staying away from the bottom.
Now what I have done is I have opened this up. And now I have the oyster inside and I cut along the bottom of the oyster.
Clean the Inside of the Shucked OysterYou will notice some mud in here and some debris. I am also cupping it so none of the liquid comes out. So I want to run my towel just along the edge just to get some of the mud and some of the sea bottom out of there.
And essentially, what you have is this beautiful oyster sitting in this little bit of brine, and it is great with a squeeze of lemon. It's great with some tobacco. Thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the Web at food.about.com
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