Monthly Archives: January 2013

Scottish Oysters with Tabasco and Lemon or Friday nights in Edinburgh

This is a slightly delayed post. turns out I am more organised than I think- I wrote it all up and forgot to post it!  But I’m going to leave it as it is…brings back good memories of our decadent lifestyle. I miss Edinburgh!

So its Friday, and Tom and I have developed a great ‘Friday in Edinburgh’ tradition of having Oysters before dinner. We had them once and it was a great idea and its been a great idea since. Dinner is usually at 11pm on these days as Tom’s just arrived on the train and I’ve been attempting to study all day, so its a great way to start the evening proper! (to be honest oysters are a great way to start anything proper…) Also, I happened to walk into a designer kitchenware store today and decided to treat myself to an oyster shucker. This one even has a little safe guard so you don’t hurt your hand in the excitement of opening the delicious suckers. What a life…

Oysters used to be poor man’s food, and you often hear stories of the oyster bars that populated the underground vaults beneath South Bridge in Edinburgh in the 1800s – or Auld Reekie as it was called then because it was a bit smelly. When the vaults were excavated in the 1990s they discovered thousands of oyster shells which were the staple food of Edinburgh’s working class- the lucky beggars. They are not so cheap any more- 80p a pop, but Scottish oysters are the most delicious we have ever tasted, and a fantastic Friday treat.


scottish oysters are the best.

scottish oysters are the best.

Oyster with a squirt of lemon and tabasco

This is not really a recipe. Its pretty straightforward and the title is all there is to it, but the difficult bit (or difficult sounding bit) is getting the oysters open.  After that it is just yum yum yum.  So we’re going to show you how to shuck your oysters. It takes some practice to get the hang of it but once you do its a breeze and well worth the effort!


Tea towel (the thick type)

Oyster shucker or a flat knife with a sturdy handle

As many oysters as you can afford


lemon or lemon juice

ice (optional)

When you buy your oysters you want them to be tightly shut. Store in a cold fridge, curvy side down so if the oysters open all the yummy liquid doesn’t run out. Don’t buy open oysters- they might have lost a lot of their liquid and gone dry inside, or they could be dead.

Hold the oyster firmly in your weaker hand, curvy side down wrapped in a sturdy tea towel. Take your knife/shucker into the hinge of the oyster and press or wiggle down firmly, and then lever upwards twistly slightly. Once the flat top shell is loosened from the hinge, slide your knife under the width of the top shell seperating it from the oyster. The oyster is usually stuck to the shell by a little muscle, but the top shell should come of cleanly leaving your oyster in a curvy bed of liquid. Serve with a bit of lemon or tabasco on ice if you’re fancy, or straight into your mouth if you’re hungry and can’t wait! Dont chew just slurp!