HOW TO COOK OYSTERS

HOW TO COOK OYSTERS IN THE SHELL

Make sure the oysters are alive. First check if the shells are tightly closed. If they are not,  pinch them closed and see if they stay that way. Take two oysters and hit them together at the thick part. You should hear a heavy thud, not a hollow sound. If an oyster sounds hollow it is dead and should be discarded.

RAW

Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters on the Half Shell—Click picture for photo credits

One popular way of eating oysters is to serve them raw.
Scrub the outside with a stiff brush and open them. Cut the meat out of the shell and discard the top shell. Serve the meat in the bottom shell, the shell with the larger cup. Serve with a cocktail sauce or preferably just a little lemon.

BAKE OYSTERS IN THE SHELL

Baked Oyster / Jackpot, Shinjuku

Baked Oyster —Click picture for photo credits

Clean the outer shells and place the oysters on a cookie sheet, cup side up. Put them in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. They should open but if they don’t some prying may be necessary.
Serve with melted butter and lemon. A sprinkling of toasted bread crumbs can be added. Another method  is to boil the oysters for about 5 minutes until the shells open. Open and discard the upper shell.
Mix about a cup of seasoned bread or cracker crumbs with about ¼ cup of butter. Brown this mixture in a pan and spread on the oysters.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree for 10-15 minutes until they are brown and slightly crispy.
If you like garlic, add it to the mixture before browning. If you do this use unseasoned cracker crumbs.

BROIL OYSTERS IN SHELL

Char-broiled oysters

broiled oysters—Click picture for photo credits

Scrub the outside of the oysters with a stiff brush and open them. Check here for how to open oysters. Place the opened oysters on a cookie sheet.
Put about ½ teaspoon of seasoned butter on each one of them.  Place them in a pre-heated broiler about 3-4 inches from the heat. Broil until the butter bubbles.

GRILL OYSTERS IN THE SHELL

Grilled oyster

Grilled oyster—Click picture for photo credits

Scrub the outside of the oysters with a stiff brush. Have the grill at a medium heat.
Place the oysters, cup side up, on the grill and cook until they start to open. All of the oysters may not open so some prying may be needed

STEAM OYSTERS IN THE SHELL

Steamed Oysters

Steamed Oysters–Click picture for photo credits

Use a steamer or a deep pot with a cover.
Clean the oysters and put them in the pot.
For every pound of oysters add ½ cup of liquid, water or white wine.
Put them over high heat and cover.
Steam the oysters until they begin to open. This can take from 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size. They may not all open so some prying may be needed.

HOW TO COOK OYSTERS

THAT ARE SHUCKED

BAKE

Place the oysters on a buttered cookie sheet or baking dish.Bake in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for a few minutes just until the edges begin to curl.
Serve with melted butter and lemon.

BROIL

Place oysters on a buttered baking sheet.
Turn them over to get butter on each side.
Place the sheet in a pre-heated broiler about 3 inches from the heat.
Broil for about 3 -4 minutes, turning once.
Cook them until they begin to curl.

DEEP FRY OYSTERS

045-365

Deep fried oysters—Click picture for photo credits

When you deep fry oysters, they are totally submerged in hot fat or oil. The pan used for deep frying should be deep enough to hold 2 to 3 inches of hot fat. A 4 to 6 inch deep pan is good because it helps to control spattering. If possible a conventional deep fryer works best.
The best oils to use are peanut oil, corn oil and canola oil in that order. Put enough oil in the pan to make sure the oysters can float, usually 2 to 3 inches.
1. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. A deep frying thermometer is the best way to regulate heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, wet you finger with water and flick it at the hot oil. If the oil is hot enough it will sizzle when the water hits the oil. You don’t need much water, just a small drop. Do not let the oil get too hot. If it starts to smoke it is too hot. 2. Prepare the batter or breading for the oysters.

3. Bread or batter the oysters and lower them gently into the hot fat. If you are using a conventional deep fryer have the basket in the oil before you add the oysters. Do not put them in the basket and then submerge or the oysters will get stuck on the basket and you will lose some of the breading. Do not crowd them. It is better to fry them in batches. If you put to many pieces in the hot fat at one time it will lower the temperature of the oil and cause the oysters to be greasy. 4.Deep fry them until golden brown, usually about 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness.
5. When they are done, drain them. Placing them on a rack above a cookie sheet works great but if you don’t have that paper towels on a plate will work.
BATTERS FOR DEEP FRYING
BEER BATTER
Combine; ½ cup of flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
½ cup beer
2 tablespoons cooking oil
EGG BATTER
Combine; 2 eggs2 tablespoons milk
Beat the eggs and milk together lightly.
Dip the clams in the egg mixture then in dry bread crumbs or cracker crumbs.

GRILL OYSTERS

Place the oysters on a buttered piece of aluminum foil.
Place them on the grill over medium heat until the edges begin to curl.
It is hard to give a length of time for grilling. It can depend on things like the weather, or the temperature of the grill but 5-10 minutes is average.

PAN FRY OYSTERS

Prepare the coating.
Rinse the shucked oysters under cold running water and pat them dry.
Dip them in cold milk, buttermilk or a mixture of 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 eggs.
Roll the oysters in one of the following and set aside for a few minutes to dry.
flour, potato buds, corn meal, fine cracker crumbs, pancake mix, biscuit mix, fine dry bread crumbs, corn flake crumbs.
Place cooking oil or a combination of ½ butter and ½ oil in a heavy skillet to a depth of ¼ inch.
Heat the oil until it is sizzling but not smoking. To test the temperature of the oil, sprinkle a drop of water on the oil. If it is hot enough, the water will sizzle.
Place the oysters in the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes on each side.

POACH OYSTERS

Prepare poaching liquid and bring to a boil.
Lower the oysters into the liquid and immediately reduce the heat to as low as possible.
Cook for 2-5 minutes until the edges begin to curl.
Remove from heat and serve.

SAUTE

Make a mixture of ½ cooking oil and ½ butter. Cover the bottom of a frying pan to a depth of about 1/8 inch.
Coat the oysters with a light dusting of seasoned flour.
Sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the edges begin to curl.

STEAMING

In the steaming process the oysters never touch the water but are suspended above the water on a rack. Use a pan big enough to hold a steamer rack. An inverted bowl can be used with a rack or plate on top of it just high enough to keep the oysters out of the water and allowing the pan to be covered.
Place 1-2 inches of water into the pan and add the steamer rack.
Bring the water to a boil.
Place the oysters on the rack and cover the pan.
When the steam starts to escape from the pot, start timing. About 3 minutes should be enough.

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