How to Enjoy Oysters at Home

Oysters are amazing organisms. They filter feed in the water column, cleaning our waters and diversifying ecosystems. About 95% of the oysters we consume are farmed and, if you are knowledgeable about where they are coming from and how they were grown, they have the potential to be truly sustainable seafood choice. Local Nova Scotian Oysters can be enjoyed at anytime in the year and make for a wonderful (and also impressive) party appetizer.

Step 1: Buy some oysters

Yes, this is obvious, but an important first step. Head to the online Afishionado shop and purchase some oysters! On our shop we currently have a variety of oysters from ShanDaph, Colville Bay and Eel Lake Oyster Farm. However, we this supply is ever-changing as we source from many local suppliers. Check out our new and improved supplier page to find details about their business and the oysters they sell! On the website we offer plenty of options including platters of 25, 50 and 100 oysters and a delicious kimchi mignonette from a local vendor, Cabbage Patch Kimchi, to top the oysters off!

Step 2: Store them properly

If you don’t plan on shucking and consuming the oysters right away, store the oysters in a bowl with a wet towel over it. Storing the oysters with the curved cups facing downwards will also help to preserve the Oysters juices. Afishionado’s fresh Oysters will be happy in this state for up to 3 weeks! However, be careful when storing them over ice because if the ice melts while the oysters are sitting in it, they will die from the freshwater exposure.

Step 3: Shuck the Oysters

Ready to get shucking at one of our past workshops!

Shucking an Oyster can seem like a scary task at first, but it is quite simple and just requires a little bit of practise! So grab yourself a proper oyster knife and some oysters and practise with this informative video.

Other items to have when shucking:

  • A plate with ice to place open oysters
  • A towel to help chuck and wipe away pieces of shell
  • A trash can or bag to discard the shells, can put them in the garden

If you are in need of some more Oyster shucking guidance, Afishionado often hosts Oyster shucking workshops that are fun and informative, with 14 Oysters included in the price!

Step 4: Dressing your Oysters

Oysters are wonderful raw and on their own. You should eat a couple like this to really get a sense of the oyster’s unique taste. However, if you want to go above and beyond the classic squeeze of lemon and a drop of tabasco sauce, here are three ways to do so.

Oysters with chili, ginger and rice wine vinegar

  • 12 oysters
  • ½ thumb-sized piece peeled ginger
  • 6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 red chili
  • a little fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Shuck your oysters and place them in the half shell on ice
  2. To make the sauce, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the oysters and serve straight away.

Oysters with Raspberry Mignonette

  • 12 Oysters
  • 3/4 cup raspberries (preferably fresh, but if frozen simply thaw), divided
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Dash of freshly ground white pepper
  1. Add ½ cup raspberries to a fine strainer and force through with the back of a spoon, collecting the juice in a small bowl. Discard the seeds caught in the strainer.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the juice bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, shuck your oysters and place them in the half shell on ice, then slice the remaining raspberries into slivers. Add about ½ teaspoon mignonette to each oyster on the half shell and place a raspberry sliver on each shell. Serve immediately.

Garlic, Butter and Paprika Grilled Oysters

  • 6 big shell-on oysters
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp, chopped parsley leaves
  • Paprika, to taste
  • 2 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • Lemon wedges, optional
  1. Shuck your oysters and set aside
  2. Top the oysters with the chopped garlic, parsley leaves and season with paprika, then add some melted butter on each oyster
  3. Grill on outdoor grill for about 5-8 minutes or until they are cooked. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

*Note: you can also bake these in your oven at 375F for 15-20 minutes

Raw Fish 101: Does Your Sashimi Get a Passing Grade?

Sushi has rapidly become one of the most universally accessible and globalized cuisines on the planet. Even if you aren’t a fan of fish I’m sure you’ve “gone for sushi” before or maybe even hosted a “sushi night” where guests bring various ingredients to contribute to a collective maki-making shindig. While there is a growing menu of vegetarian options when it comes to sushi, if you are a fish lover, what kind of fish should you be looking for? The term sushi grade or sashimi grade is often used to describe fish that is destined to be consumed raw, but what does sushi or sashimi grade actually mean?

Believe it or not sushi grade is not an “official” certification in Canada. However, for fish to be called sushi grade or sashimi grade by chefs it must be frozen. Guidelines vary for different species, but you are safest when fish is frozen at -35 for 15 hours. Home freezers usually can be set to as low as -18 which means that if you want to ensure that your fish is sushi grade it should be frozen for 36 hours or more in order to kill any parasites. In his exhaustive book The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and RiceTrevor Corson points out that the reason why traditional sushi chefs seldom serve freshwater fish is due to the very rare instance of parasites. Parasites, unlike bacteria can be killed by cooking and cold enough temperatures. “Unfrozen salmon is not recommended”

At Afishionado we carry a variety of frozen fish which is considered sushi or sashimi grade. Our yellowfin tuna saku blocks and steaks are currently the most popular fish we sell to sushi lovers from our online shop. Our tuna is not only Fair Trade, but  sustainable which makes eating fish you can feel good about hassle-free.

Please visit some of our restaurant partners and enjoy dishes featuring our Fair Trade yellowfin  tuna. Kitsune Food Co. , East of Grafton, Shuck Seafood and Raw Bar, Bistro Le Coq, The Press Gang Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Edna just to name a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rashid’s Halibut Ceviche

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound fresh skinless halibut fillet, cut into half-inch cubes or halibut cheeks!
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup lime juice (from about 6 limes)
  • 2  Serrano or jalapeño peppers, halved, seeded and finely chopped if you want to add some heat. (wear latex gloves if you have them. at the very least don’t rub your eyes like I always do…) (optional)
  • 1 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for sprinkling
  • diced red/orange/yellow bell peppers

Preparation

  1. Place the halibut in a nonreactive bowl. Season with salt. Add 1/2 cup lime juice to bowl, toss again, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Combine the peppers, shallots, cilantro and remaining 1/2 cup lime juice in a nonreactive bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Fifteen minutes before serving, whisk olive oil into shallot mixture. Pourover the halibut mixture , toss and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. sprinkle with cilantro.

Delicious served with tortilla chips or you could make tostadas by cutting fresh corn tortillas into triangles and baking with a pinch of salt.

 

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