5 Tips on Serving Raw Oysters

Executive Chef Stephen Gellas knows seafood; over his 30-plus years in the kitchen, fruits de mer have been a focus at several, including where he currently turns and burns, Off The Hook—also a seafood market—in Chesapeake. 

We asked the chef to enlighten us on raw oysters with some tips:

1. Check the harvest date; oysters should be used within a day or two.

2. Scrub with cold water, clean off all dirt, and if any oysters are attached to each other, separate them. Store in the refrigerator and keep the oysters dry and uncovered.

3. Shuck from the hinge or the back of the oyster. Carefully run the knife along the shell so you don’t cut into the oyster.

4. Spread ice on a plate and sprinkle with kosher salt. This will have the ice melt together, making it easier to serve.

5. Serve with a mignonette: in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup champagne vinegar, 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 2 teaspoon of finely chopped flat leaf parsley. Stir together and let stand 30 minutes before serving. This yields enough for two dozen oysters.

Once you've cracked these beauties open, learn how to eat a raw oyster.

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