Oysters start their life as male. They will permanently change to female after one year. Oysters have gills and breathe like fish. One oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day.
➊ FIND THE HINGE
Hold the oyster with the flat side up and the curved side down. Locate the hinge, which is the point where the two shells meet.
➋ SECURE THE OYSTER
Use a towel or a glove to hold the oyster firmly in your non-dominant hand.
➌ INSERT A KNIFE
Use an oyster knife or a short, sturdy knife and insert the tip into the hinge. Twist the knife slightly to pry the shells apart.
➍ CUT THE MUSCLE
Once you have opened the shell, use the knife to cut the muscle that connects the oyster to the shell. This muscle is located on the flat side of the oyster.
➎ REMOVE THE TOP SHELL
Use the knife to slide under the top shell and lift it off. Be careful not to spill any of the liquid inside the shell.
➏ LOOSEN THE OYSTER
Use the knife to loosen the oyster from the bottom shell. Be gentle and take care not to damage the delicate flesh.
➐ CHECK FOR DEBRIS
Inspect the oyster for any debris or shell fragments. Remove them with the knife or a small spoon.
➑ SERVE YOUR OYSTER
Serve the oyster on a bed of crushed ice with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce and/or mignonette sauce.
HOW DO I MAKE A MIGNONETTE SAUCE?
In a bowl, mix together all of these ingredients. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
- 2 finely minced shallots
- ½ cup red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch of sea salt