In Singapore, most Singaporeans have been exposed to oysters via the oyster omelette at the hawker centre. In spite of the oysters being fried in egg and dipped in lime and chilli, many people still find oysters “icky”. Oysters are not for everyone. But for those who enjoy oysters, they enjoy it for its delicate, toothy texture, rich flavor, and salty liquor. For those who don't know, oyster liquor is the natural juice inside the oyster that keeps it alive once it’s out of the water. That juice is precious and tastes amazing, and that’s why it’s referred to as liquor. Oysters are also high in calcium, iron, and protein.
How can you tell if you’ve been served a good oyster if they are all so ugly? First of all, a good oyster should have a lot of liquor in it. Next, the fish should be opaque. If it’s too clear, that means it didn’t get enough food when it was growing. Oysters come in a variety of sizes but what is important is that the oyster should look full in the shell and not be too thin or taste too salty. And of course, a bad oyster will smell bad.
The other useful tip to know when eating oysters, especially at home, is how to shuck an oyster. Follow the steps below to get started:
- Wrap a teatowel around the oyster and use it to hold the oyster firmly.
- Using an oyster shucking knife in the other hand, place the knife into the hinge. Looking at the oyster, you should see that it starts at a point and then flares outward into its shell shape. The hinge is located at that original point.
- Wiggle the knife around until you feel it slip inside the shell.
- Give the knife a twist and you should feel the hinge pop.
- Slide the knife under the top shell cut through the muscles holding it to the shell. Try not to spill too much of the liquid inside the shell because that's the tasty liquor!
- And of course, enjoy!