Serving raw oysters at home can seem intimidating to people who don't have a lot of experience with the process, but it's actually pretty manageable once you learn the basics. When it comes to storing and preparing live oysters, there are a few key rule to follow to ensure your safety and have the best possible experience when enjoying this delicacy at home.
TIP #1: Keep your oysters cold and alive.
When you come to Intercity Packers to pickup your Kusshi Oysters, the oysters will already be packed on ice or a gel pack, which will keep them cold in transit. When you get home, it is up to you to keep those oysters cold (2-3°C) so they stay alive until you are ready to consume. It doesn't matter if you're cooking them or serving them raw, you will need to keep them cozy on a single layer cup-side-down over a tray of ice in your fridge. The ice will melt, so make sure you are switching out the ice regularly.
Keep in mind, the oysters are still living saltwater creatures. You can keep them covered with a loose fitting lid or wet towel, which keeps them moist and protected from the air movement, but do not keep them in an airtight container. Lack of oxygen or storing in fresh water will kill the oysters.
TIP #2: Consume the oysters as soon as possible.
Although the oysters will keep in your fridge for a few days if the ice is regularly changed, we recommend coordinating your pickup day for the oysters so that you are consuming them on the same day. As the with all food, they will taste better when fresh. Toss any that have broken shells.
TIP #3: Use a glove or dishtowel when shucking the oysters.
Even though you don't need to apply much pressure when you wiggle your knife into the oyster's shell, slips happen and you want your hand to be protected.
TIP #4: Do not shuck the oysters ahead of time.
Keeping them in the shell until you use them will help keep them fresh and free from debris.
TIP #5: Enjoy the oysters with an array of sauces.
True oyster connoisseurs will want to enjoy the Kusshi's flavour on its own, but lemon juice, tabasco or a mignonette can make the experience even more fun. This is our go-to mignonette recipe:
MAKES 1/2 CUP - enough for 2 dozen oysters
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Stir vinegar, shallot, and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over oysters.
TIP #6: Gently cook the oysters.
If you are planning on cooking the oysters instead of serving them raw, please note that oysters are best when are just cooked through. If the oysters are overcooked, they will be unpleasantly rubbery.
HOW TO SHUCK AN OYSTER: