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Oysters

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Despite that persistent old wives’ tale, it’s okay to eat oysters year-round, even during those months lacking an r. Something called refrigeration took care of that. Still, the best time for local oyster slurping is during the fall and winter, after the summer spawning season, when oysters are soft and plump, and exceptionally fresh like the wild ones Blue Moon Fish plucks out of Peconic Bay and sells at the Greenmarket. Gulped down raw straight from the half-shell in staggering Diamond Jim Brady quantities, they’re hard to beat, but save a few for this delicious recipe from Zak Pelaccio’s new Malaysian canteen, Fatty Crab.

Zak Pelaccio’s Oyster Omelette
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 medium-size oysters, shucked and reserved in their liquor
Kecap manis (available at Asian Market, 71 1/2 Mulberry St., nr. Canal St.; 212-962-2020)
Sriracha sauce (available at Asian Market)
2 scallions, chopped
2 sprigs cilantro, Picked

Beat eggs in a medium bowl with soy sauce and pinch of salt. Place a wok over high heat until very hot. Add the peanut oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the egg mixture and fry for about 30 to 45 seconds, tilting and shaking the wok to allow the uncooked egg in the center to cook evenly. Place oysters on top of omelette and flip (or turn it over with a spatula) and cook for a few more seconds. Slide omelette onto a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the grease. Flip again onto a serving plate. Garnish with kecap manis, Sriracha, chopped scallion, and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.


How to Shuck an Oyster
First of all, you’ll need a good oyster knife ($7.95 to $28.95 at Broadway Panhandler, 477 Broome St., at Wooster St.; 212-966-3434), a thickish towel or glove ($24.95 at Broadway Panhandler, but a gardening glove will do), and a firm resolve—like removing a compact disc from its plastic wrapper, oyster shucking takes practice.


Illustration by John Burgoyne  

(1.) Hold the oyster on one end, flat side up, so you don’t lose any of its precious liquor. Insert oyster knife into the narrow hinge, and twist firmly until the top shell releases and pops open.

(2.) Slide the oyster knife under the flat top shell, cutting through the muscle and detaching the shell.

(3.) Now slide the oyster knife along the inside of the bottom shell to loosen the oyster from its toehold.


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