cooking melbourne

Discovering Melbourne's Artisan Foods and Produce

oysters freshly shucked

Oysters Alive Alive O


Nothing beats freshly shucked oysters. Their just caught, or rather dispatched, ocean flavour really sets them apart from those long dead ones in trays you mostly see in fish shops and markets.  That wonderful fresh flavour is why oyster bars and good restaurants shuck to order and why tourists head to The Seafood and Oyster Spot at Queen Victoria Market to devour and instagram a half dozen. So why do most oyster lovers settle for the dead lot when we could do it ourselves at home and enjoy them alive, alive o. I guess it is the perception that shucking is a skill best left to professionals unless you want an evening spent in casualty getting stitches instead of sipping champagne. The reality is that the task of shucking is really not that difficult and just requires a decent oyster knife and a little knowledge. Here are two great demos; one by Wayne from the Sydney Fish Market who explains the difference between Sydney rock and Pacific oysters and one by US food editor, Juli Roberts, who shows a nice easy and safe way to open an oyster.



With oysters that fresh you really don’t need anything other than champagne to enjoy them but the tang of a little squeeze of lemon is always nice. A simple home made vinaigrette dressing is also good for a change. I recently tried a Japanese dipping sauce featuring yuzu juice, a Japanese citrus with a bit more of a bite than lemon. The combination of yuzu with sake, mirin, soy and sesame oil balanced it out beautifully.  Yuzu juice can be bought at Japanese grocery stores and is also handy to have on hand for when you run out of lemons.

Japanese yuzu juice

Japanese Yuzu Dipping Sauce

measure: I used a dessert spoon but you can use anything depending on how much you want to make as long as you keep the proportions the same.

  • 6 spoons yuzu juice
  • 3 spoons light soy sauce
  • 3 spoons sesame oil
  • 1 spoon mirin
  • 1 spoon cooking sake
  • 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 spoon chopped chives

Grate the ginger into a small sieve over a bowl with the liquid ingredients and press out the juice from the grated ginger into the bowl. Discard the grated ginger. Mix in the chopped chives and serve.


cooking melbourne • January 1, 2017

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