Happy Oyster Day!

John Liu

DD announced that today is more important than Christmas, for it is Happy Oyster Day! This was the day when we drove to the next state (which is just over the river, but it sounds impressive) and stood in a socially distanced line to collect our four dozen oysters.


We got a dozen each of large BBQ oysters, medium Purple Mountain oysters, small Pearl oysters and petite Kumamoto oysters, as well as a jar of shucked oysters, and rushed home.


First, the big boys. Six of these were opened, topped with three cheese sauce (brie, gruyere, and mystery cheeses, cream, garlic, onion, salt, white pepper), which was itself topped with panko, broiled for three minutes, and served on slices of sourdough bread. My rating: 8/10. SWMBO’s rating: 15/10 (she liked them, a, lot).


Six more were topped with a quick applesauce (grated apple, apple brandy, apple cider, buzzed in the Vitamix) and panko, broiled, served on slices of toasted brioche with a splash of apple brandy. My rating: 8.5/10. DD liked them even better than that.


DD made the next course, oyster soup (jarred oysters, mushrooms, butter, milk, cream, cooked then buzzed, served with toasted brioche cubes, salmon roe, and a sprig of parsley). This tasted good, but the texture was just a touch grainy; maybe we needed a little flour or something. SWMBO did not like, in fact she didn’t even finish her first spoonful. We discussed whether she should be ejected from the family, but relented. My rating: 5/10.


The Purple Mountain oysters were then shucked, coated in a simple batter of soda water and flour, and deep fried. The batter was thin, crisp, and shattered under the teeth, and the oyster was fresh and only just cooked through. Next time we’ll add some cayenne to the batter. My rating: 7.5/10.


I next made the remaining Purple Mountain oysters into shooters (sake, mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salmon roe, minced green onion, salt, pepper, a dash of hot sauce, oyster, raw egg yolk - sadly, not quail eggs as we just didn’t seem to have any on hand, fancy that). This was okay, full of promise but also with much scope for improvement. The sake was a sweeter type, which was good, but needed more vinegar, and the roe should have been flying roe, the egg from a quail). My rating: 6/10.


Finally, we had the Pearl oysters on the half shell, some with a mignonette and some with lemon. We also had two of the Kumamoto oysters this way; the rest of the Kumamotos are being saved for tomorrow’s fresher palates. My rating: Pearl oysters 7/10, Kumamoto 8/10.


Photos when DD sends them to me!

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

What a feast. I give the Kumamoto mignonette a 10, the crispy fried a 9.5😜 a bit of freshly grated horseradish might up that to a ten. Yes to Cayenne.

The oysters blendered? Never heard of that. A shame about the texture.

Our feast starts the 23rd. Bisque, pan roast, or a stew...a tradition on the 24th. Nothing else decided yet. Half-shell upon arrival.



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John Liu


Happy Oyster Day! No, kitchen work has not resumed, hence no hood :-(

Three cheese broiled oyster

Apple brandy broiled oyster


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John Liu

Oyster soup with roe

Battered fried oyster

Oyster shooter

Oysters on half shell

I’m going to get quail eggs and sashimi today and we will have Happy Oyster Day Coda.


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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Lovely nod to the oyster😀.

(what's up with the range hood?)....my range hood on/off switches, plastic, just broke off in my hand. Our dishwasher is troubling and holding water, our freezer is forming ice below, (rolling pin once a week to break it up), 🙄

Daily trouble-shooting. Water pressure went down. (covid home maintenance) Bicycle pump to pressurize our filtered water system. (bless ya youTube)

The broiled cheesey looks better than I would have thought. Nice bubbly brown and crisp on top. Good sized broilers but not too big. I usually have to slice them I half with kitchen shears (in the shell) if huge.



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John Liu

I have the new range hood, just haven’t found the time or motivation to install it. It’ll be a job. 5’ commercial grease hood, needs new ducting and external fan unit, etc.

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bbstx

John, I have seen a lot of oyster stew recipes that call for whizzing the final product with a blender. The good oyster stews that I have had, had the oysters still whole (or partly whole, not pulverized). The best Oyster Artichoke stew/bisque maker that I ever knew is no longer with us, unfortunately. I’ll check my Cajun cookbooks.


Everything sounded divine until you got to the oyster shooters. I’ve never had an oyster shooter. I thought it was a raw oyster in a shot glass. Yours are obviously a lot more complex.

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John Liu

These are the kind of oyster shooter you’d get in a sushi restaurant.

I’m going to get more jarred oysters and try soup or chowder again.

I also saved about 1.5 c of the liquor, need to find a use for that.

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antiquesilver

FYI - In the land of Chesapeake, blending an oyster for stew would be considered heresay! You've been warned...

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John Liu

SWMBO points out that her sainted mother’s oyster soup was unblended. I shall make some that way. Domestic harmony has been thin since she practically spat out DD’s cream of oyster soup.

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bbstx

These are both from La Bonne Cuisine, published by the All Saints Episcopal Churchwomen of River Ridge, LA. I have never made either, but the Brennan’s recipe seems to have too much liquid compared to others I’ve seen.





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bbstx

Here’s one more. This one was contributed to a Junior Auxiliary cookbook by a friend’s mother. She was an exceptionally good cook, even if she used dried onion soup mix and ketchup in her recipe. HA!



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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

That is odd. So much water. I looked up creole and Southern oyster stews and most use heavy cream and flour.

I grew up on the Chesapeake and we use whole milk and no flour at all. Then I searched Pacific oyster stew and see both. Most no flour. Very similar to The Atlantic coast.

Oysters are global. So many different recipes depending on area and local ingredients. Turns out my recipe is most like the French.

I've had various versions of the shot glass. And would like this stew, Korean Gulguk

Because we don't have it often, I'll stick to my tradition Xmas eve stew, then do some single oyster variations.

This site goes more global in oyster recipes. OYSTER OBSESSION

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annie1992

Happy Oyster Day!

The three cheese oyster looks amazing and I'd like the fried ones a lot. I just can't eat raw oysters, the texture is too...um...mucilaginous, LOL, although I do like them cooked.

Here in Michigan oysters are a very big splurge, and we had them only on Christmas, when Grandma would make a pot of oyster stew. I remember as a child I refused to eat the oysters but loved the "stew", so I'd finish my one allotted bowl and leave the oysters in the bottom for Dad to very happily finish off. Unfortunately, Elery does not like oyster stew. :-(

Annie

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Even in coastal cold climates Atlantic, Long Island, Eastern Shore, Maine...nothing wrong getting a bit squeamish about raw seafood. Right out our front door is preferred or a good contact harvester. A pint of oysters pasteurized is fine for a stew. Unfortunately the price is insane.

Back in the day, Dad would take oyster stew when he did night shift before I was born. 5cent oysters stewed in his thermos. Poor folk food like lobsters.

Still reasonable when a tiny tot...I liked the broth with 'oyster cracker'. Not the oyster. Always liked blue crab.

Baby saltines we still use today. Mom always put them in our 'Chex mix' holiday treat savory mix. Odd that 3 or 4 brands call them 'oyster crackers'. Baby saltines. I also liked the broth with the crackers and not the oysters when young. Just the broth. Soggy crackers.

I have a cart with FulltonFishMarket...oysters, lump crab, lobster. We have 18 stressless days together...shrimp, scallops, halibut. from the wholesaler. Holiday not like others but we will experiment together.


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John Liu

These oysters ranged from $10/doz to $20/doz. I used to get them for 50 cents each when the young oyster farmer came to my local farmers’ market. Sad. I went by the market last week and bought some oysters from the fish guy, and told him about that. He insisted they’ve been coming to that same market for a decade, and that I must have been buying from them. I am fairly sure there was a different guy . . .

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Islay Corbel

I can't imagine oyster soup or stew. I can't think of anywhere in Europe doing that to an oyster lol.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

HUÎTRES EN RAGOÛT AUX EPINARDS ET À LA CIBOULETTE

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

^that was a copy/paste, not yelling😂

I based my recipe on Pierre Franey's Oyster Stew Lyonese in theNYTimes but they have a pay wall. Then found this, HERE. His recipe comes from Paul Bocuse.

I use chiffonade leek, skinless small potato cubed 1/4 inch...not pureed. Inner tender ribs of celery with leaves, shallot. Softened in a bit of butter until glassy. Then white wine, wait a beat, add oysters and their liqueur, a few minutes till the edges begin to curl, then warmed whole milk. No water, heavy cream or cheese.

Heavy cream is less likely to curdle but pre-heating milk to just below a simmer helps avoid a break. (rarely have heavy cream or forget to put it on my list)

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Islay Corbel

Paul Bocuse's restaurant is known for ancient classics.....they're having to modernise now....but I would bet you'd not find it anywhere else. Oysters are considered precious here. An old English recipe used oysters in a pie - carpetbag pie - when oysters were cheaper and more accessible than beef. Oysters were replaced by kidneys when they became cheaper than oysters. That's not the case today so we treat the oyster with the love and respect it deserves!

Anyway they're not serving oysters at the moment. They couldn't be further from the sea there. The prices are eye-watering! https://bocuse.fr/fr/restaurant-paul-bocuse.html#cartes-et-menus

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)


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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Really good book. John Liu, DD will love this...

Link, HERE

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

The first quote is from French Women for All Seasons, Mireille Guiliano

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foodonastump

Felt bad reading about your daughter’s stew but aside from that your feast sounds good.

I was at WF yesterday and saw two types of oysters, blue point and some other name I didn’t know. Got me wondering how many I’d need to buy to call it dinner for two, if I were to do a mix of fried, Rockefeller, and Bienville. Two dozen? More?

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

BluePoints are good and a good size for fried and grilling. Rhode Island I think?

Low carb, no bread/baguette?, 2 dozen should be fine at one sitting but maybe a good side salad or small second course.

I've settled on ordering from FultonFishMarket. A dozen BluePoints and a dozen Malpec and two 8oz shucked pints in my cart so far. Smoked salmon and some crab meat...and lobster meat.

I use the shucked pints for fried. Usually 6-8 per jar. Shucked are usually graded x-large or tiny until they get the fill weight. Two jars will give me what I want for po'boys and a small stew for two. X-large for fried. Tinies for stew.

Our raw bar and maybe a half dozen roasted will be a first course with maybe crab cakes to follow. Two separate meals as the glass jars are dated. Often a few days remaining after purchase.

-big snow storm tomorrow FOAS. We are predicted to get 12-18 inches, grrr. Baldor has a 15% off 'storm sale'. Today and tomorrow only. I've been ordering every 7-8 weeks. Have a cart started so 30-40$ off is good. That will set us up through the new year.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I may try this...


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bbstx

IC, I had totally forgotten about CarpetBag Steak, a beef steak stuffed with oysters. I thought one of my Cajun cookbooks had a recipe for it. If so, I haven’t found it yet. Here is Emeril’s recipe for it. Frankly, while intriguing, it doesn’t appeal to me.

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John Liu

Santa’s elves are checking inventory for “Meet Paris Oyster” right now! Thanks slvndg!

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Islay Corbel

Sleeve. Come to France, especially Brittany or Normandy and you'll get the best and freshest oysters you could ever hope to have on a plate . If you tried to zap then into soup the locals would be horrified. The local pride of such a product is very strong.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

🙄, Traveled/lived the planet/globe. No need to list the various places I have lived/traveled. Including your Normandy/Brittany. Double eye roll, 🙄🙄😂

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

So gorgeous our coastal shores.


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Islay Corbel

So then you know you won't find an oyster stew within a thousand kms. Triple eye roll! 😇

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annie1992

Islay, I checked your menu. The menu is indeed pricey, but under "Dishes" (yeah, I let the computer convert it to English) I giggled out loud at the hand drawn picture of the cow with the fork stuck in it!


Annie

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Islay Corbel

France isn't an easy country to be a vegetarian in lol

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John Liu

DD is concerned about how she will stay keto in France. Bread, you know.

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annie1992

Islay, I kind of got that idea. (grin)

John, it wouldn't be the bread that caused me to pause , it would be the croissants, the profiterole, the tarte tatin, the pommes Anna, and, well, the list is long, LOL.

Annie


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John Liu

Got a copy of “Paris Oyster” for DD’s stocking!

Looking forward to trying more oyster recipes.

Say - do we eat other shellfish like mussels, clams, scallop raw? I know we do at sushi bars, but in other cuisines? Why not? The raw scallops and clams I’ve been served by sushi chefs have been delish.

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John Liu

This morning DD and I left Portland at 4 am and drove to Hood Canal in WA to gather oysters. She got a Washington shellfish license and found a public beach where oyster and clam harvesting is both allowed and productive. The rules are 18 oysters per person, and they have to be shucked there and the shells returned to the beach, for oyster sprat to adhere to.

We got there at low tide, easily found six oysters and ate them with lemon and mignonette, then gathered 30 more oysters and shucked them into a jar that we placed in an iced cooler.

Then we went to Port Townsend, had Chinese food, browsed antique stores, and ran into an old friend on the street. I took DD to walk around the marina and look at boats, and tried to persuade her to support the future Liu Imperial Yacht idea as a way to access countless remote oyster-rich beaches. She found a really cool Irish cable knit sweater, and we learned that traditionally each fisherman had his own knit design so that when his dead, bloated, unidentifiable body washed ashore, his family would be able to identify him. Of course that sold us on the sweater.

Then we drove south to Hama Hama Seafood at the mouth of the Hamma Hamma River where it discharges into Hood Canal. They were full and we had no reservation, but the woman at the check-in kiosk took one look at the sweater, exclaimed loudly, and gave us the best shack. So, serenpidity strikes again.

Hama Hama has adapted to Covid by setting up shacks and lean-tos with heaters, and people arrive and eat by reservation only, or by having a cool sweater. It was a great place to eat more oysters.

A nice day in Washington State, my favorite state in the Union.

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Olychick

I have the good fortune to share a cabin on Hood Canal with a family (rather they share their family cabin with me) very close to the Hamma Hamma. A beach rich with fresh oysters and clams; a family member who works at Hama Hama Oysters, where they prepare wonderful oysters but also sell the best ice cream in the world, Olympic Mountain. If you haven't tried it, do next time. And on your next excursion, stop by their factory, off the beaten path on the way to Shelton from Hood Canal. It's an experience worth having. Tiny, out of the way. Unbelievably delicious. (I wish they'd settle on a spelling of Hama Hama. The river is Hamma Hamma, the oyster co is Hama Hama).

https://olympicmountainicecream.com/


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lindac92

I loooooove oysters! And living as I do in Iowa they are a rare treat but for the shucked containers which are about $16 a pound.
But my mother came from New England stock and I was introduced early to oysters on the half shell, at some shack at the water's edge...cherry stone clams too!
Oyster stew is simply oysters ( liquor saved) frizzled in some melting butter until the edges just curl, add the liquor, and warm milk, heat to a scald ( not a boil!) salt to taste, pepper after plating....properly served in a soup plate.
Now I do soften a little chopped onion or shallot and celery in the butter before adding the oysters but my mother thought that was a travesty!!
And I can't imagine adding things like cheese and grated apple to a good oyster. That's gilding the lily to me!

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Islay Corbel

Love the shack

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bbstx

John, you asked about eating other shellfish raw. DH and I were entertained at a very fancy dinner in Paris. I was seated next to the host. He was so excited that they had been able to get fresh scallops for the appetizer. I was served a large plate of scallops sliced paper thin and arrayed around the edge of the plate. In the middle of the plate was a good size mound of frisée. The scallops had a tiny drizzle of olive oil on them. With my first bite, I thought “hmm...lightly poached.” About the time I got to the 3rd bite, I realized they were raw. I ate more than half to be polite, but I can’t say I enjoyed them.


What a cool story about the sweater. Love the shack!

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John Liu

linda, were those Eastern oysters? I’m reading those are very different from the Pacific oysters I’m used to.

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l pinkmountain

It all sounds very exotic and wonderful while I am freezing my buns off here in the dead frozen north . . .

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Islay Corbel

BBSTX, you must have ordered a carpaccio which is raw 😝

In civilised Brittany, we eat them all cooked 😁😋

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bbstx

IC, we were being entertained at a private dinner, not in a restaurant. I didn’t have the opportunity to order. To this day, the image of the scallops sticks with me, but for the life of me, I cannot tell you what the other courses were. Isn’t that odd?


I would do well in Brittany. 👍

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

What a fantastic day trip. No pic of the sweater?😒 20 yrs ago I started collecting thrift store Irish knit fisherman sweaters that are hanging in the beach home guest room. Wall hangings. No closets in an 1870's saltbox. House guests are often unprepared when the sun goes down. Can be 75-80º daytime, but often 60-65º nights.

I've only had raw scallops on the dock fresh from the water. And uni. Both excellent. Most shellfish/seafood I prefer at least 20 second seared that adds one more flavor dimension to the experience. Adore sushi/sashimi properly prepared. Raw clams not so much. Certain things like lobster, crab, mussels, squid, shrimp, etc. I don't see much enjoyment being a texture thing. So much seafood has a flavor bloom when they hit some heat. Or some acid in ceviche. Or just rubbery tough raw, then so quickly tender and sweet.

East coast and pacific oysters are not that different. Some varieties would be difficult to decipher in a blind test. My few favorites are Pacific like the Kumamoto and Kusshi (BC) are distinctly plump and creamy. Equally in my top 6 are NorthEast. Maybe like wine. Same vintage, same grape, similar price point, neighboring vineyards.

Impressed she has a shellfish license. Nothing compares to fresh from the waters. Most seafood is absolutely fine on ice for 24+ hours. It is trusting a fish monger to deliver that time frame. Knowing in person it is fresh elevates the experience.

DH picked up my seafood order curbside and they made substitutions without asking or e-mailing. Have pasteurized lump crab. At least it is wild caught and sustainably caught. Turns out fine having had way too much fresh to enjoy and have crab for anytime the next couple months to enjoy. Enough crab for three or more recipes.

(our best oyster meal was smoking them and making an oyster stew)






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lindac92

John yeah...of course east coast....mostly blue points.
I guess I am a "Plain Jane"...when there is something as wonderful as fresh oysters, I can't think of much beyond a bit of lemon and perhaps a touch of horse radish or hot sauce that would make them better.


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John Liu


No good pictures of the sweater but here is a picture. That there is a mountain of Hama Hama oyster shells.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Great pic. Where I grew up seaside restaurants use oyster shells in their parking lots and driveways. I miss that sound.

Ordered oysters and crab for curbside pick-up Saturday. Game day Oyster Po' Boys if my NewOrleans style baguettes work out. If not we will have toasted rounds with oyster stew or smoked.

Met David in undergrad. Excellent chef.




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John Liu

Hey olychick, Houzz DM doesn’t seem to work for me, so I can’t reply to yours. Could you possibly email me? My username here, at earthlink.net


I wanted to find out more about the mussel people! I’m headed up to that area next week.

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Olychick

sure, it will come from an icloud address, but not Olychick!

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annie1992

No fresh shellfish here either. I just can't eat oysters raw, the texture gets me every time.

The closest I have to fresh shellfish here is a 2 puond package of huge scallops from the Alaskan Seafood Company, I'm going to cook some on Valentine's Day for Elery and I.

BBstyx, note that I said COOKED. (grin)

I love what I can see of the sweater, and the big pile of shells. Here the beaches are all white sand, there are no shellfish other than the little freshwater mussels and invasive zebra mussels. It's actually illegal in Michigan to "harvest" the little bi-valves due to commercial fisheries using the shells as "seed" for pearl making oysters. Native mussels became a threatened species in Ohio and Indiana, and so Michigan was trying to get ahead of the curve.

Annie

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