You may have picked up on my love of oysters, I’m kind of obsessed. The best ones I ever had were from Maison Premiere in New York but I’ll happily eat UK rock and natives till the cows come home. Invited to learn how to shuck oysters, I jumped at the chance to visit The Oyster Shed near London Bridge.
Chef Nick talked us through various methods of eating and preparing seafood from his tips for ceviche (choose firm white fish and two parts lime juice to one part lemon), the unusual parts of fish (cheeks or ‘cushion’ is apparently delicious as is monkfish liver) while taking us through some of his great dishes like albacore tuna ceviche, scallops with cauliflower purée and pork belly and Geronimo’s own beetroot cured gravlax but to name a few.
The highlight of the evening was being shown how to shuck oysters and fillet fish. I have only done shucked oysters once before which ended in a Christmas food poisoning incident, so getting a bit of a refresher was more than welcome. Mark showed us to cosy up the oyster in a linen cloth, hold it with your non-knife hand and with an oyster knife gently jimmy it open at the If you think of an oyster as a tear drop (this is more applicable to rock oysters than the rounder natives) the top of the tear is where you dig the knife in and give it a jiggle until you get the shell open.
Mark then showed up with a chef’s flourish, how to run the knife round the shell, scrape off the flesh from the lid before discarding and scraping off any bits of shell. Slicing through the ‘foot’ of the oyster is essential but I love how he showed us to give the oyster a little flip to get it out of the shell and down the hatch all that faster.