Oysters

I have a craving for an oyster dish I used to get at Elliott’s (Seattle). But I no longer live near the coast (now on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada), and because of this I buy all my seafood frozen… but you can’t freeze oysters, right?

The seafood counter at the local Safeway sometimes have what they call “BBQ shell Farmed fresh”, but they look pretty awful. Very rarely do they have live Pacific oysters (I mean very rarely).

So for those of you that don’t live near the coast, what do you do for fresh oysters?

Here is the recipe for the dish I have been craving:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. kosher or good quality sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly cracked
3/4 cup oil
36 extra-small oysters
3/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Sauce (see below)

Mix flour, salt and pepper together. Heat cooking oil until very hot in a flat sauté pan. Dredge oysters in seasoned flour, shaking off any excess, and place in the hot oil.

Cook oysters until edges start to curl. Flip the oysters over and continue to cook until crispy and golden brown. Remove from heat and drain. Serve immediately with warm Jack Daniel’s Sauce.

JACK DANIEL’S SAUCE
Makes: 1 cup
Cook time: 5 minutes

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s whiskey
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar

Blend together all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has melted. Serve warm.

– Chef Jeremy Anderson, Elliott’s Oyster House

we can get Chesapeake Bay shucked oysters “fresh” in pint jars - “select” size - about 20-22 per pint. raw, not cooked, not sterilized, not pasteurized . . .

being perishable with a relatively short shelf life, I suspect not too many mega-markets carry such a product.
any fish mongers in the area?

there are canned oysters - never touched a can or used one, so no clue as to how ‘good’ they are.

any raw bars in the area? or restos that ‘specialize’ in such?
perhaps a little smoozing may reveal a local source that is buying/shipping in fresh oysters in bulk and may part with some…?

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There is one spot down the hill (Placerville) that claims they have them on the half shell, but I have been there a couple of times years ago and their food was yuck.

Other than that it is a one hour drive to Sacramento for a good seafood restaurant, and I have no idea if there is a decent fresh seafood store there, nor would I be willing to make that drive.

Where are you getting them in jars? and how good are they? I ask as Safeway has these… https://www.safeway.com/shop/product-details.186900071.html

But have no idea if they’re worth a damn.

mine from our fish monger -

the safeway says fresh - I’d give it a go . . .

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I just bought a 16 oz. jar like this to use for my Thanksgiving oyster dressing. $18.99. I live on Cape Cod, and we are rich with fresh oysters, but this is the way I buy oysters at Thanksgiving…

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Check to see if they have Minterbrook jarred oysters. This oyster farm is near me in the Puget Sound area, and their product is very good. Also recommended is Hood Canal Oysters. They are distributed to other states, but whether they have them at your Safeway, I don’t know. We have them at our local Safeway, and I do like the fact they come in different sizes. They’re refrigerator stable for at least a few weeks I think, but will deteriorate even if unopened, after time. Good luck.

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I agree w/Happy Onion - give 'em a try. Check for a ‘use by’ date and look at the product to see if it looks good and is a good size for your recipe.

The canned oysters are desperation worthy buys only. Just look in the refrigerated meat and fish cases for some in see thru glass or plastic containers. Is Safeway the only store you have?

WM here used to carry these:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hilton-Fresh-Hand-Shucked-Oysters-Extra-Small-16-oz/196531612

but don’t seem to have them any more.

I’m in Houston, 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, with several oyster houses supplying local fish markets and restaurants and this is what WM shipped in. I tried some; they were okay but I’d rather have had Gulf oysters. Also I’ve never had Pacific oysters on the half shell so I don’t know how they stack up.

I remember reading several years ago, after the BP oil well blow-out when the oyster population here was harmed, of some processor in Louisiana working on flash frozen oysters. Haven’t heard anything more but you might look online for developments.

Interesting that back “in the old days” fresh oysters were readily available in Placerville, even making it famous.
I guess it’s just diminished demand that precludes having a supply today,

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These jarred oysters are available at several levels and at supermarkets, fish markets and Asian markets. I’ve tried them from several sources and found them larger than I like, not consistent in size within the jar, usually fresh enough to not poison, friable, but given any other option, I go for it.

My mom has frozen blue point oysters for years. Cooked into dressing, they’re just fine.

Bribe friends from the Bay Area to bring you a cooler full of :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: :oyster: on their way to the slopes. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I (technically) live “in the Bay Area” but I ship mine from here.

https://www.morrobayoysters.com/shop

Or here

Or here

Not a fan of bridges and parking. I do see fresh and pasteurized in an Asian market.

Looks like Oyster Island is shipping retail now too!

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Costco used to sell refrigerated jars of shucked oysters that were pretty good IIRC

Thanks everyone! I’m hesitant to buy the jarred ones. Not only are they too large, but my experience with oysters are “the fresher, the better”, logarithmically.

So I’ll hit up one of the Morro Bay shops and I should be able to throw this dish together for under a hundred bucks! (for a $16 restaurant starter - LOL).

Actually, at that price, I’ll bookmark this and come back to it another day when my craving becomes more severe. (c;

BTW… GIovanni’s also has calamari steaks which I have sorely missed since a local restaurant closed shop.

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Ha Ha… six dozen. It’s just me and the occasional girlfriend! And Giovanni’s requires a $300 order for free shipping!

I’m gonna figure out what I want from them up to ten pounds and pay the thirty bucks. But some I’ll want fresh, and others I’ll want frozen… so not sure how they would deal with that.

All six dozen were for me! Sign up for the email list so you will hear about the free shipping offers.

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For which site?

Hmmmm…I thought it was Giovanni’s and that it was free shipping in California that time, and I spent $189.00 according to a receipt around that time.

I thought it was in the link, but I guess not. I’m on the Island Creek list as well.

Island Creek seems to have offered free overnight shipping until 3 PM EST today !

ETA It was Giovanni’s.
A screenshot from a September email

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo