Preparation, uses, and tips
Inspect oysters to make sure they are tightly closed. To clean, rub the shells with a stiff
brush under cold running water.
To shuck, hold the oyster cup flat side up with a glove or several paper towels. Insert an
oyster knife or can opener (never a sharp knife), into the small opening near the hinge. Twist
to open. Once the hinge gives, slide the knife along the top shell to sever the muscle. Take
off the top shell and pick out any grit or pieces of broken shell. If the oyster is very
gritty, hold the oyster and bottom shell under running water. Serve raw on crushed ice.
Place live oysters flat-side-up directly on the grill, 6 inches (about 15 cm) above the
coals. Oysters are done when the shells pop open, in about three minutes.
Heat frying pan, then add butter or oil.
Dredge shucked oysters in flour or cornmeal with
herbs and spices, if desired. Place oysters in the pan and sauté until brown, two to
Pour oil into a wok or deep fryer; it should be at least 1 1/2 inches (about 3.8cm) deep,
and the cooker should be less than half full of oil. Heat oil to 375°F (190°C),
using a thermometer to monitor temperature. Dip oysters in batter, drain, then slip them into
hot oil. Cook until brown, two to three minutes.
Place 1/4-inch (0.635cm) water or beer (seasoning optional) in the bottom of a large pan.
Add scrubbed live oysters, flat side up. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until
shells open (six to eight minutes). Throw away oysters that don’t open. Serve oysters in
bowls with broth.
Atlantic oysters, grown along the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to Florida, are small,
and have a relatively smooth shell and a mild taste. The Pacific oyster, a briny-tasting
delicacy introduced from Japan in the 1920s, ranges in size from the tiny Kumamoto oyster to
the large, heavy-shelled common Pacific oyster. Olympia oysters are a rare, slow-growing
species native to the Pacific Coast. Flat oysters, natives of Europe, are grown in cold waters
on both coasts of the United States. They have an intense yet delicate taste. Oysters get
their specific taste from the areas where they are grown, and they are often sold under these
place names. Oysters can be bought live in the shell, shucked, fresh or previously frozen, or
Oysters (raw), 6 medium
Total Fat: 2.1g
*Excellent source of: Zinc (76mcg), and Vitamin B12 (16.3mcg)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good
source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily
Oysters are not a source of omega-3 fatty