Opening and preparing shellfish is easily the most difficult part about cooking and eating them. I’m introducing basic guidelines that you should follow to open any shellfish:
Start With Preparations:
You need a few basic items to get started. Get a stiff kitchen brush, or possibly even a wire brush with stiff bristles that can withstand some scrubbing and work. You will also need a good knife, like a clam knife. If you don’t have one, you can use any knife that is short, thin, and very dull. Do NOT use a sharp knife!
Lastly, you will need access to some running water, a small bowl, and a towel to clean up any messes or to help hold the shellfish. Once you have all of these items assembled, you are ready to start opening up some shellfish!
Here are the basic steps to get the job done every time:
- Using a brush, scrub the muscles of the shellfish and rinse under cool water. If there is a good amount of outer filament, you can also use a knife to help you scrape them all away. This will help to pry and open up the shellfish, no matter what type it is.
- Now comes the fun part. Over a bowl, hold the shellfish firmly in your hand. Insert your knife between the top and bottom shell. If you need it, you can use something like a towel in order to help protect your hand and give your more grip. Carefully work the knife around the shellfish to cut through the hinge muscle at the back. The bowl below you will help to catch anything that might fall.
- Lastly, open up the shell and slide the knife between the meat and the shell in order to detach the two. Again, even though the knife you are using is dull, be careful with it and where your fingers are. Once the shellfish is open, it becomes much easier to work with and you can safely remove the meat of the creature. You are now ready to cook the shellfish in any way you need to!
Enjoy a tasty shellfish meal! There are so many different ways shellfish can be cooked.
Follow these tips so you can successfully open every shellfish that you come across! Shellfish can be easily opened using these simple methods that I introduced.
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.