Umami Mart Registry

One of my favorite spots since moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area is the Tomales Bay Oyster Company. I read about the TBOC on Umamimart while I was still living in Tokyo. It was a long wait until I was finally able to make the beautiful drive along Point Reyes National Seashore to feast on oysters -- and it was definitely worth the wait.

I visited TBOC on Tuesday for some raw oyster shucking in the sun. The first time I visited TBOC, I asked the guy behind the counter to show us how to shuck an oyster.

Photo: Masato Washino

Doing the shucking yourself makes the slurping of a raw oyster that much more rewarding. Shucking an oyster for someone else is also a loving gesture.

You'll need:
An oyster knife
A pair of rubber kitchen gloves
A flat surface that can be scratched - like a picnic table or large cutting board

Admire the oyster.


Locate the hinge on one end of the oyster.


Place the oyster, curvy side down so that the flatter side faces up.

Insert the oyster knife into the hinge. The tip of the knife should slip in about 1/4 of an inch.

Force the knife in about an inch into the oyster.


Once the knife is in the hinge, make a twisting motion with the knife so that the shell will crack open.


You will have to work around the edges while twisting to avoid breaking the top shell.


Feel around the inside of the oyster with your knife and make sure to cut off any muscle or strands that are attached to the underside of the top shell. Take the top shell off the oyster.


With your knife, free the meat inside the oyster from the bottom shell for easy slurping.


It will take some practice to get the best angle so that the juice in the oyster will not spill out while you are shucking it.

We topped our oysters with lemon and Tapatio hot sauce or cocktail sauce and horse radish. Topping it with lime and ponzu would be exquisite as well.


The TBOC scenery:

Photo: Masato Washino

Photo: Masato Washino