Oyster Ceviche

14 07 2009
IT IS more a matter of finesse than brawn.  Shucking oysters, that is.
Oysters 00

The remains of the day – all that were left after all that shucking.

And if like me, you shall find a hankering for fresh live oysters – that just won’t quit – I advise you to get them really fresh, still in the shell.  Somehow, “freshly” shucked oysters swimming inside plastic bags filled with sea water could be tempting for all the ease they’d give you.  But one past weekend, I just felt that a big part of the ritual of making this oyster dish is actually shucking the oysters myself.

Oysters 04

I took this photo of that lone oyster on a half shell, seconds before I wolfed it down with one big slurp!

And yes, repeat after me – more finesse than brawn.  Armed with a paring knife and a kitchen towel, I went through the huge pile of oysters in about less than half an hour.  Every now and then, I’d steal an oyster on a half shell, squeeze calamansi (Philippine citrus called “calamondin” internationally) on it and with one slurp wolf it down.

Oysters 01

After a quick rinse with hot water

After shucking everything, I gave the oysters a quick rinse with really hot water – literally just a pass-through.  In a large, fine china bowl, I dumped onto it lots of chopped red onions, a little salt, lots of chopped siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies), and the juice of over a dozen large calamansi.  I added exactly just a tablespoon of vinegar.

I didn’t even let the whole thing stand and marinate for long.  I made it just when I was ready to have lunch.  Which, for this particular one meant lots of hot steamed rice and fried large tilapia.  The oyster ceviche was the perfect accompaniment!

Oysters 02

Don't they just look so plump and juicy? They literally burst in the mouth!