It's Mahurangi oyster season and whether you're a profesh or simply pro-fresh we've got the inside scoop on how to shuck like a pro, care of the team at Mahurangi Oysters.
They're busy prepping for the Oyster Festival next month, but they've passed on their pro knowledge, so you don't slice off a finger (or worse).
First things first, make sure you have the tools of the trade ready to rock:
- To shuck like a pro, you'll need a tea towel and an oyster shucking knife (or a sturdy kitchen knife with a short and strong blade)
- Drape the tea towel over the open palm of your non-dominant hand
- Nestle the oyster in, cupping it in the palm of your hand, with the flat side of the shell facing up
- Place the hinge of the shell into the V created by your thumb and first finger to hold secure
- Slip the knife blade in between the top and bottom shells
- Use a twisting motion and lever the knife downward, so the tip pushes into the top shell and pries the oyster open.
Pro tip: you'll need a firm push to open the little shucker, but go slowly, so you don't lose any of the precious liquid inside
- Once inside you'll need to cut the oyster free from its shell by cutting the muscle that connects at the top and the one on the underside
- Garnish as desired and slurp back a dose of fresh, fresh vitamin sea
- Eat, shuck, repeat
If you think you're up to par, there will be an all-day shucking competition at the festival on October 6, as well as a shuck load of Mahurangi Harbour's finest to be devoured by the dozen.
Owner-operators Andrew and Lisa Hay of Mahurangi Oysters have been a part of the festival since day dot, and with a family history in oyster farming that began in 1991, they really know their stuff.
"We love bringing a taster of our corner of the unspoilt Mahurangi Harbour to the Oyster Festival - there's nothing quite like sharing the magic of fresh oysters with fanatics - and converting a few new fans along the way!" says Lisa.
You can find more info about the Oyster Festival Matakana here.