Monday, February 25, 2008


Here we go with some shellfish breakdown.

I've got oysters, clams, and mussels. The shrimp were already de-veined, so i'll do that another time. Basically what you're doing is cutting the adductor muscles on these little creatures; which releases the pressure on the shell; letting you get in there.

An oyster shucker is quite necessary for the oysters, because these guys are kind of like rocks, so you don't want to use a regular knife; as it might break.

Oyster knives are super cheap. Here we go $7.95!

Oyster knife

Take a towel, put it underneath the oyster, and wrap it on the side you're going to hold it with to protect your hand. Put the flatter side of the oyster up.

Get the point of the knife lodged in at the hinge. This might be quite difficult; I had to use some serious strength to get it in there well.

Once it's in there, rotate the knife any way possible to open up the oyster.

Then slide your knife along the top of the shell and cut the muscle from the top shell. The muscle is on the opposite side of the hinge.

When that muscle is cut, you can pull off the top shell.

Now, scrape the meat out, cutting the muscle off the bottom as well.

Turn the whole thing over in the shell as this is your presentation side.

Here's a really little one that was attached to one of the big ones.

Again, putting the flat side of the oyster up, wrap it in a towel, lodge the point of the oyster shucker in there, and rotate the knife to open it. Slide the knife along the top, cutting the muscle, opening the shell. Scrape the meat out from the shell, cutting the bottom muscle and flipping the meat over.

Now, clams. A paring knife is all you need.

The clams are very tightly closed, but you should be able to find a small hole near one side. Get the knife in there, and cut toward the hinge, cutting the muscle.

Once one muscle is cut, it's pretty easy getting your knife to the other side cutting the other muscle.

Now, scrape the meat out from one side, scraping the muscles away, plopping the meat on one side, and scraping the rest out.


That stringy stuff that hangs out is called the beard. Pull on the beard; removing it.

Right where the beard was should be a small hole where you can insert your knife.

Then, turn the mussel on the side opposite the hinge, slide your knife along the long side (not too deep, you don't want to cut flesh yet!), rotate the whole thing, cutting the muscle. The muscle on this is opposite the hinge, on the long side.

Right here is the point when you cut the adductor muscle.

At this point, you can open it up. Scrape the flesh out from one side, cutting the muscle, plopping the meat into the other shell, and then scraping out again.

So that's oysters, clams and mussels.

Here I dipped oysters, shrimp, bell pepper and large onion slices in tempura batter, and deep fried them.

Here's a spicy shrimp, mussel, clam and scallop fra diavolo sauce with pasta.

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