Oysters and Urchins

By September 01, 2014 ,

My weakness for oysters and raw things have been well documented on this blog. Despite the looming fear of food poisoning warnings from my Dad, I can't help but find myself being drawn to these delicious things.

I headed over to Diana's Seafood again, a little gem for those of you in Toronto. They have a lovely restaurant beside the store where you can get your seafood craving satisfied without having to do the dirty work. In my opinion though, the work is half the fun.

It starts off with picking your oysters from the oyster selection. They sit there piled up in the case practically begging you to take them home. I'm going to admit, I'm much better at eating them than choosing them so I usually ask the ladies behind the counter what they recommend and which ones are the freshest. This time we decided to go for an assortment of oysters rather than 5 dozen of one kind.

On our way to the checkout counter, my cousin gasped and pointed at these spiky little balls, half in horror and half in bewilderment. I haven't talked about this obsession as much but I have an equal addiction to these balls which actually aren't as horrifying on the inside as they are on the outside, and definitely taste better than they look.

Handling them is a bit tricky because it will cause you pain if you grip them too hard. Gloves are recommended if you want to clean these yourselves.

Most people don't bother trying to open sea urchins at home because they are either perplexed by how to get the roe out or think it's too hard to pry these open. But all it really takes is a small butter knife and spoon. The easiest way is to dig the knife into the middle and pull out the center. Then slowly break down the surrounding shell until the roe is exposed.

Once you see the yellow begin to peek out from within the shell, you use the small spoon to scoop it out and rinse the black digested gunk out of the urchin.

Then, after an hour of work prying open oysters and cleaning urchins, you're left with this smorgasbord of tastiness. The oysters are simple; a dash of tabasco and mignonette goes a long way and can bring out the saltiness of the sea. The urchins can be eaten as is or tossed in sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice.

I definitely downed most of this that evening along with a dozen cherrystone clams which were a massive pain to open. We bought 100 of them and ended up only opening 60 because they really did not want to be eaten. It got to the point where I became so desperate that I took the clams out onto the balcony to smash them against the cement floor just so I could slip my knife in. Super professional right? I can't believe I'm admitting this.

Cleanliness level probably 0, but innovativeness and creativity +10.

Don't worry, I washed everything thoroughly afterwards.

Trips to Diana's or any seafood market are always the highlights of my day. Nothing quite beats the excitement of seeing the choices available, the workout that is preparing these things, and of course, a wonderful meal shared with family and friends. 

Because no one should ever eat 100 oysters alone.



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4 Lovely Replies

  1. ughhh, those oysters are so mouthwatering...!!!
    how do you prep the ones you buy from stores? I might look into grabbing some before summer ends but I got no idea how to prep them for safe consumption :/ or.. do I actually do nothing with them? haha

  2. Just make sure you get them from a reputable supplier and ask when the stock comes in :) There's not much prep, you just need to scrub the shells once u get home and then open them haha. they should be safe to eat if they are fresh :P I feel like where you are from, most oysters come from that area so this shouldn't be an issue for you haha. if you do grab some, link me to your blog post!!

  3. Wow that looks really weird haha :)