How to Shuck Oysters, Plus 2 Ways to Serve Them

How to Shuck Oysters, Plus 2 Ways to Serve Them

Oysters are delicious in the winter. I swiped the fresh oysters in their shell that a relative sent to my parents and enjoyed them raw with white wine. I've listed my mother's easy method of shucking them, plus my favorite ways to eat them.


as much as you want!
as much as you like
to taste
to taste


1. Make ready a pair of protective gloves, a regular screwdriver (or a sturdy steak knife) and a fruit knife.
2. Opening the oysters: Wash the oysters in their shells under running water. Remove any broken bits of shell or dirt.
3. Place them with the deeper shell on the bottom on a heatproof glass dish or similar, and microwave. We do 6 to 7 oysters at a time at 600 W for 40 seconds. These oysters were on the small side.
4. The oyster shells will open up a tiny bit. Insert a screwdriver or similar in the gap and twist to open the gap up more. Insert a fruit knife in the gap and cut the muscle.
5. The muscle holding the shell closed is located around where my thumb is, so aim towards that point.
6. The shell will then open up. Take the flat shell off.
7. Cut the muscle holding the meat of the oyster to the shell, and it's done.
8. How to eat oysters, version 1: Splash on a little ketchup and sprinkle Tabasco to taste. Squeeze a lemon and slurp it up. I think this is the most delicious way to enjoy oysters.
9. They look like this in their shells.
10. In some cases, you can remove the oysters from the shells completely and rinse them quickly in 3% salt water, if the oysters you have seem a bit iffy.
11. How to eat oysters, version 2: Take the top shell off and cook them on a grill. When they are bubbling, sprinkle on some ponzu sauce. This is delicious too.
12. Once oysters are opened, they start to go bad right away. So eat them as soon as they are shucked. Any leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten up as soon as possible. By the way, you can coat the oysters in batter or breading and freeze them that way for fried oysters. (You can deep fry them frozen.)

Story Behind this Recipe

Ever since I was a child, a cousin of my father's who lives in Kasaoka in Okayama prefecture has sent us a big case of fresh oysters. My parents used to shuck them like this. The ketchup and lemon version was something I had at a restaurant in the U.S. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy oysters.