Shellfish can be cooked and enjoyed in many different ways. Fresh shellfish in the shell can be steamed, grilled or baked; and when shucked can be stewed, sautéed, fried, or eaten raw. There are numerous recipes and sauces to help you enjoy these treats, and we offer just the basics here to help you get started. Look on our Pinterest page for recipe ideas and pairing tips.
Place oysters on the grill over medium heat with the cup side down so that the oyster cooks in its own juices. In about 5-8 minutes, the majority of shells will pop open; those that do not open on their own, shuck open with an oyster knife. Remove the top shell, add your favorite sauce and return to the grill for a minute or two until the sauce is warm.
Cooked separately or in a combination, this is a very easy way to enjoy your shellfish. Gently scrub the shellfish and then put them in a covered steamer or large pot with a few inches of water, wine, or beer and your preferred seasonings (try garlic and/or onion). Steam about 10 minutes: the clams and mussels open wide when cooked while the oysters may only open their shells a little bit or not at all. Stir with a large spoon once or twice to help them cook evenly and open the shells. Cook oysters very lightly, only until the mantle curls.
Try raw oysters with a twist of lemon/lime, some hot sauce, or just by itself to enjoy flavors of the bay.
Shucking an Oyster
- On a flat, firm surface, place the flat side of the oyster facing up, with the hinged end pointing towards your dominant hand. Cover either the oyster with a towel or your hand with a sturdy glove for protection.
- Insert an oyster knife into the hinge and apply pressure until the hinge begins to fail. Try twisting side to side (not up and down) while applying pressure to pop the hinge.
- Slide the knife into the oyster and drag the blade across the underside of the top (flat side) shell to sever the adductor muscle.
- Discard the top shell.
- Slide the knife under the body of the oyster to sever the other side of the adductor muscle.