I’ve loved oysters for as long as I can remember but have never wrapped my head around the idea of trying to shuck them myself. Recently, over Memorial Day weekend, enough was enough. I was craving oysters but couldn’t be buzzed to venture out to packed corners of near by raw bars, like Maison Premiere and Extra Fancy, so I said f*ck it and decided to shuck em myself.
Que the string of YouTube videos and over-explicit Google searches for things like “How to Clean and Shuck Oysters” and “How to Shuck an Oyster Like a Pro” before finally heading out to Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. to take the plunge. 18 oysters, 1 oyster knife and 4 YouTube videos later, I was doing (what I believed to be) the impossible. After finessing the oyster knife into the hinge of the oyster shell, wiggling the knife back and forth, finally finding the sweet spot and feeling a subtle *pop*, I’d actually shucked my first oyster and had all 10 fingers in tact to tell the story. With a few more wiggles of the oyster knife I had cut the muscle and removed the top shell, only to reveal the glistening, briny oyster meat resting beneath. Wasting no time I quickly reached for a lemon wedge and began spooning shallot mignonette into the shiny shell, making sure there was an even and flavorful distribution of shallot to vinegar. Tip, squeeze, spoon, slurp, repeat.
While learning this oyster how-to was the highlight of my weekend, making its oniony, vinegary counterpart was a huge part of the experience. Oysters are simple, easy creatures. They bring most of the flavor to the party, but like anyone, need a squad to have their back and lift their flavor profile to the best it can be. Hello shallot mignonette, thank you for being a friend. This mignonette recipe, courtesy of Tasting Table, is super simple, super delicious, and super adaptable if you want to start getting crecre with different, offbeat combinations like prosecco, orange and ginger, bacon or even cucumber. In this case I kept it simple dimple and my oyster bb’s thanked me for it. However, if you’ve tried some banging mignonette recipes pls share those in the comments below, until then you can snag this recipe here ↓ – Enjoy peeps! –
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns coarsely ground
- 3 lg shallots peeled and minced
- 1 tarragon sprig
- salt to taste
Peel, mince and ground your ingredients before combining everything into a small mixing bowl
Stir well to combine and let sit for 30 min - 1 hour, marinating at room temperature
Shuck, spoon, serve.