Shellfish are some of the finest delicacies in the world, with a truly dizzying array of possibilities and recipes.
From the most addictive street food delights to the heights of fine dining, we’re proud to be able to draw on the bounty of local shellfish at our doorstep, including:
And with such a bounty to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for options when it comes to preparation and cooking. This is exactly what we’re going to focus on in this post.
We’ll look at how to make the most of mussels, ceviche, two streetfood inspired oyster recipes, and highlight Kusshi Oysters.
Make The Most Of Mussels
Once you know the right way to prepare them, mussels will be a fantastic addition to your cooking repertoire.
Mussels have to be cleaned right — no one wants grit or sand. Place the mussels in a colander in the sink and run water over them, using your hands or a clean scrubbing brush to rub off any debris.
Don’t store them in standing water. Instead, we recommend placing the mussels in a colander that is housed inside another bowl or container. Then, cover the mussels with a cold damp cloth and lay ice cubes on top of it.
It’s essential to debeard the mussels, and no you don’t use a razor! The “beard” is the small fibrous threads you can see coming out of the closed gap between the shells, all you need to do is remove these either with scissors or by hand.
While you’re debearding, you also need to make sure you discard any mussels with cracked shells or ones with open shells that don’t close after a hard tap, as they will be unsafe to eat.
It’s important to note that mussels cook in a very short time, usually 3-5 minutes. If you’re cooking them in a sauce or stew, or even paella, make sure you add them towards the end of the cooking time, and have everything prepared ahead of time.
See here for a recipe and variations on cooking mussels.
When it comes to raw fish some people can (understandably) get a little hesitant — but if prepared properly, and sourced from a reputable supplier, it can be a genuine delight.
While we’re sure you’re all familiar with sushi, today we’re going to look at another popular raw seafood dish: clam ceviche.
Ceviche is an extremely popular method of preparing raw seafood, and it can be used for everything from clams to salmon and halibut.
Ceviche involves marinating the fish in the acid of a fruit juice, typically fresh lime, which in effect “cooks” the fish.
When it comes to preparing clam ceviche you can either shuck them yourself, or get your fishmonger to do it for you — the key is preserving the juice that comes with it. The juice can then be combined with the lime, some fresh jalapeno, and fresh herbs to make a marinade.
The other key thing to remember is to make sure not to over marinate the clams. A ceviche needs to be timed to “cook” the fish just long enough. For a clam, this is between 1 and 2 hours. If you want to make your own clam ceviche, you can find locally sourced, fresh clams, right here.
Oysters Two Ways
Oysters are a beautiful ingredient and we totally understand if you just want to slurp them down with a generous squeeze of citrus! But their delicate flesh also makes them perfect for frying, in that classic street food style.
Cajun Inspired Oyster Burger
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- Oyster Burgers
- 900g shucked oysters
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- Burger buns
- Iceberg Lettuce
- 1 tomato, sliced
Spicy Remoulade Sauce (Optional)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 TBS dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- Drain the oysters and place them in a bowl. Pour in enough milk to just cover the oysters and stir. Leave to soak for 15 minutes.
- While the oysters are soaking, whisk all the remoulade ingredients and leave to chill.
- Heat vegetable oil in a fryer or pan to 180℃.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together any remaining milk, cayenne, and eggs.
- Combine the cornmeal and flour in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the oysters and dip in the egg mixture then cover in the flour mixture. Place prepared oysters on a plate as you prepare the rest.
- When oil is hot enough, place the oysters in and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve oysters on burger buns with sliced tomato and lettuce, and remoulade sauce.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 12 oysters
- ½ cups cornflour plus more for dusting
- 1/3 cup rice flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 TBS vodka
- 3 TBS water
- Whisk together the cornflour, rice flour, and baking powder.
- Whisk in the vodka and water to make a light batter
- Remove the oysters from their shells and set aside. Sterilize by scraping away the excess from inside the oyster shell, and boiling for 5 minutes before plunging into ice-cold water
- Heat a deep fat fryer to 180℃.
- Lightly dredge the oysters in cornflour before dipping into the batter, and deep-frying for 3 minutes until crispy.
- Serve with your choice of dipping sauce or aoili.
Farmed right here on Vancouver Island, Kusshi Oysters are desired by restaurants across the globe for their taste and texture. Their name is taken from the Japanese word for “ultimate” and their taste can be attributed to the unique tray suspension and tumbling process they’re subjected to.
Typically suspended oysters are tricky to work with, with brittle shells, however, the tumbling process for Kusshi Oysters toughens the shell making them truly the best of both worlds.
This cultivation process can take up to four years, but the end result is more than worth it! The suspension method helps cultivate an oyster with an unusually deep cup and delicately flavoured plump flesh.
If you want to try some of these amazing oysters for yourself, you can find them right here for just $18 for one dozen.