6 Essential Oyster Preparation
You can find the best oysters in the world here in New England. Raw oysters with a squeeze of lemon are especially popular in the summer. There are other delicious ways to prepare these succulent shellfish. Get adventurous in your kitchen and try out one of these six oyster preparations.
Tips for Preparing Oysters at Home
Before you get cooking, be sure to follow these three essential tips for making oysters at home:
1. Always discard any oysters with broken or open shells. This means that the oyster inside is already dead and unsafe to eat.
2. Rinse off all the oysters you plan to cook under cold water and scrub the shells to remove any dirt or sand. Use a sturdy knife to remove tough encrustations.
3. If your recipe calls for shucked live oysters, ask your local fishmonger or fish seller to shuck them for you. It is safer and easier to leave this job to the experts. Some local fish sellers, like City Fish Market, even offer freshly shucked oysters.
6 Ways to Make Oysters
1. Grilled Oysters
Grilling oysters is the simplest way to prepare them at home. You can throw the whole oyster, in its shell, onto the grill. When the shells start to pop open, you know it’s time to remove them. Once they’re off the grill, remove the tops and serve. They taste delicious with a squeeze of lemon and butter.
2. Deviled Oysters
This devilishly good appetizer is made with sautéed oysters, cooked in butter, and mixed with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, pepper and cracker crumbs. They are toasted in the oven and served in the shell. They’ll tempt all your guests.
3. Pickled Oysters
Pickled oysters became popular on the east coast in the days before every home had a refrigerator. They just as good today. The best way to pickle oysters–to preserve their creamy texture and light flavor–is in a mixture of lime juice, lemon juice, and champagne vinegar. We recommend Chef Dylan Fultineer’s delicious recipe from Food & Wine. These tangy oysters taste delicious on toast with a side salad of bitter greens.
4. Creamed Oysters
If you love New England chowder, you’ll be a fan of creamed oysters. Stewed in cream with bacon and herbs, they are perfect comfort food served with buttery toast. Try out Susan Spicer’s recipe for Creamed Oysters and Leeks on Toast from Food & Wine.
5. Oyster Chowder
You can’t beat a savory seafood chowder with oysters whether you prefer it Manhattan style or New England style. Check out our blog post How to Make Prize-Winning Seafood Chowder for our favorite recipe.
6. Fried Oysters
Fried oysters are a mouth water appetizer or ingredient in a po’boy. They are simple to make at home by dipping shucked oysters in a mixture of beaten eggs, tossing them in flour and rolling them in breadcrumbs. Or coat them in a simple tempura batter. You’ll have them on the table in less than 5 minutes.
You can pick up fresh oysters harvested from the cold waters of Cape Cod, Long Island, and the East Coast at City Fish Market in Wethersfield CT.