How to open (or shell) seafood without spending 3 hours?

Seafood is eaten not only before and after the holidays but also throughout the year when it is the season of course. If you are afraid to buy them because you do not know how to open them, this article is for you. You are taught how to open seafood in less time than it takes to say (or almost).


Oysters© Supplied by 750 grams Oysters

Ah, the oysters. Always the same problem, knowing who sticks to it for the chore of opening. This crustacean is very popular, but it is not always easy to open it, especially thanks (because to) its body envelope that looks like a pebble found along the sea. The most well-known technique is to open the oyster with a knife, most often from the front of the oyster, that is, the flattest part.

Few people know this, but it is easier to open oysters from the back. Chef Christophe even shows you his technique in the video. If you look closely, a small hole is located at the back, in a completely natural way. Push your oyster knife into it and then leverage. All you have to do is pass the blade of your knife to cut the nerve and you can enjoy your oyster.

For lazy people or people who are afraid of cutting themselves (or both!), you can spend your oysters 45 seconds in the microwave or 2 minutes under steam. The oyster will react instinctively to the heat and will decide to finally show the tip of its nose. Admit that you did not expect this one.

Clams and praires

Clams and praires© Fournis par 750 grammes Les palourdes et les praires

So much work for such a small thing, why go to such a hard time? Because of clams and prairies, it’s absolutely delicious let’s see. With this type of crustacean, we must never forget the first step, which is to soak the seafood in saltwater for about ten minutes. The sand will come out naturally, but do not hesitate to change the water if you find that there is a lot of sand on the outside surface for example. Once the shell is well cleaned, we move on to the opening.

The easiest way is to open everything in a large saucepan by heating the clams with a drizzle of olive oil and closing the lid tightly. After about ten minutes, the crustaceans will open, without you needing to do anything. You can also steam the crustaceans. Once the shell is opened, the shell is cooked and ready to be enjoyed. If you like clams, we strongly advise you to try the recipe for spaghetti all vongole.

For those who want to eat their raw prairies, pass the blade of your knife on one side of the shell, then pass the blade to the other end. Promised, you will take less than 3 hours.


Mussels© Supplied by 750 grams Mussels

If you are Belgian, we imagine that you already have the technique. For others, ask your fishmonger if they can at least clean your mussels. If this is not the case, take a small knife and come and scratch the outer layer of your molds to remove the pieces of algae or rocks but also the gray filaments.

The operation is not delicate but requires some patience. To then open them, nothing could be simpler: as for clams, a shot in a large saucepan with the lid and a little fat. Chronometer in hand, you have about ten minutes before your molds are opened and ready to taste. We even give you a recipe for ginger mussels, to impress the whole family.

Sea urchins

Sea urchins© Supplied by 750 grams Sea urchins

You avoid them in the summer when you swim, but that’s no reason to mistreat them in the winter. Sea urchin is a fairly fragile crustacean, so be delicate. Take a fairly sturdy glove (such as an oven glove for example) and hold the sea urchin well. Using your other hand and a chisel, make a slight notch in the sunken part of the sea urchin. Then all you have to do is go around with your chisel to remove the sea urchin’s hat. It’s simple, but you have to know the technique.


Shrimp© Supplied by 750 grams Shrimp

So there, it’s a little to each his technique. The flesh of the shrimp nevertheless remains fragile, so avoid going there like a mess. The simplest is to cut off the head, then remove the skin by pushing your nails into the paws. Then pull from the paws to the back of the shrimp, the skin will come on its own. Same thing for the tail. You can also use a knife, but it may take you a little longer, especially if your shrimp are small.

Remember to keep the heads and tails of shrimp to make broths or sauces, since this is where the flavors are concentrated.


Scallops© Supplied by 750 grams Scallops

The star of the plate is often her. For scallops, no passage in the microwave or in a saucepan, you put your hand directly in the dough. Either your fishmonger (again) opens them for you, and in this case, you just have to cook them, or you take a fairly fine knife and you open the nuts yourself bypassing the blade of the knife from one end of the Scallop to the other. The operation is very simple and does not require any particular force, it is already won.

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