How To Shuck An Oyster

Niall Sabongi's Rocker Oysters, Klaw restaurant, irish food, i love cooking

How to shuck oysters with Niall Sabongi – Klaw, Temple Bar, Dublin.

Fancy treating that special someone to a delightful treat this Valentine’s Day? Here is Niall’s step by step guide to shucking oysters along with 3 simple yet mind blowing recipes

What You’ll Need:

  • Oysters
  • Oyster knife
  • Damp tea towel or stainless steel glove
  • Serving tray (with ice, lemon wedges and condiments)


  1. Make sure the oysters are clean of any grit or debris
  2. A  damp tea towel are interchangeable.  use a damp tea towel that has been folded into a small square, creating at least eight layers of protection to avoid slipping.
  3. To begin shucking, hold your oyster knife in your dominant hand. Place your other hand around the towel covered oyster.
  4. You will enter the oyster at the hinge (the back) where the top and bottom shell meet. Here there is a natural opening perfect for the tip of your knife.
  5. Apply pressure with the knife in this sweet spot and turn the knife 1/4 turn like a key in a lock (do not jam it or pry it like wedging open a paint can). With this slight wiggle you will feel it crack open.
  6. The top shell will still be attached by the adduction muscle. Scrape your knife along the top of the shell to detach.
  7. Now that your oyster is open, take a moment to wipe out any debris that may have made its way into the shell. You’ll then have to cut the adductor muscle away from the shell, which is about 2/3 of the way up from the hinge on the right hand side.
  8. Repeat these steps until all your oysters are open. Serve on a bed of ice with fresh lemon. Enjoy!

Rocker Oysters 

This is Niall’s version of the famous Rockefeller oysters. In Klaw they blowtorch cooked oysters but if you find yourself with out a blowtorch you can just use a normal domestic grill.

Makes 6 oysters

For the Spinach Butter:

  • 500g baby spinach
  • 100g fresh parmesan
  • 450g butter, softened
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Crack of white pepper


  1. Lightly wilt your spinach and squeeze moisture out using tea towel.
  2. Blitz with your softened butter, cheese, lemon and seasoning.
  3. Leave to chill.

**This can be frozen for future uses and also makes great topping for many fish and chicken dishes.

For the topping:

  • Handful of wilted baby spinach
  • Generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Add some wilted spinach to your opened oyster.
  2. Add a small knob of the flavoured spinach butter and top with generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Grill at high heat for 2-3 min or until bubbling and golden.

Spicy Sumac torched Oysters

This is another torched oyster that that we just cant take off the menu in Klaw. The butter is also so versatile as is great with all kinds of seafood but also lovely with Chicken and pork. Being ½ Egyptian it’s a bit of a nod to my dad with lots of the bold flavours we were brought up on.

For the compounded butter:

  • 1 x small tin of Harissa paste ( 380g )
  • Zest and juice of 3 limes
  • 1kg butter
  • 2 tablespoons of Sumac


  1. Simply just pop all ingredients into mixing bowl and combine and chill. This butter will keep great for up to one week into fridge but also will freeze perfectly


  1. Add a knob of the butter.
  2. Grill at high heat for 2-3 min or until bubbling and golden.
  3. Top with some dried shallot ( available in most Asian or Arabic stores).
  4. Add fresh coriander leaves.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Niall Sabongi Klaw Restaurant 2 Temple Bar_previewNiall Sabongi


You may also be interested in