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{"activity_order":null,"activity_type":["Technique","Recipe"],"assignment_recipes":null,"author_notes":null,"cooked_this":0,"created_at":"2013-06-05T04:32:05Z","creator":null,"currently_editing_user":null,"description":"Shucking oysters is considered something of an art by some people. And in places like New Orleans it's also a competitive sport, with popular shucking competitions held to see who can shuck the most oysters in the least time. Watching a skilled shucker in action is mesmerizing, but in the hands of someone with less skill shucking an oyster involves awkward poking and prying at the rock-like shell. \n\nThere is an easier way to shuck an oyster, or any other bivalve for that matter. Blanching them in a water bath at [c 60] for just a few minutes makes them easy to open. Timed right, and the oyster itself isn't cooked, but it does end up with a gorgeous plump appearance and an appealing firm texture that heightens their freshness. And because this technique makes it easy to pop the oyster open, you're less likely to end up with shell debris floating in the salty brine surrounding the oyster.\n\nHow does this work? The brief burst of mild heat is just enough to cause proteins in the skirt and mantle to slightly contract, which firms the oyster. This also loosens the protein bonds between the flesh and the nacre that coats the inside of the shell, which is why the oyster comes away cleanly from the shell with this technique. The heating also weakens the ligament along the hinge line so that the bivalve's shell will open with much less force. This is the science, but the result is what matters: oysters that are easily shucked, have a perfect plump appearance, and a fresh briny taste.","difficulty":"easy","featured_image_id":"{\"url\":\"https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/Jr7IhkSTBxPCixplzDhA\",\"filename\":\"Firming Oysters2.jpg\",\"mimetype\":\"image/jpeg\",\"size\":358104,\"key\":\"JIaDnqcFRFqX2vOacfH5_Firming Oysters2.jpg\",\"isWriteable\":false}","forks":[],"id":352,"image_id":"{\"url\":\"https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/XX0Ue3NCS76Zulxc8EyQ\",\"filename\":\"oysters_4.jpg\",\"mimetype\":\"image/jpeg\",\"size\":3587656,\"key\":\"QmGMQKiCSW6EB3f5TYYC_oysters_4.jpg\",\"container\":\"chefsteps-production\",\"isWriteable\":true}","include_in_gallery":true,"last_edited_by_id":183,"likes_count":44,"published":true,"published_at":"2013-07-17T18:07:43Z","show_only_in_course":false,"slug":"firming-oysters","source_activity_id":null,"source_type":0,"summary_tweet":null,"timing":"","title":"Firming Oysters","transcript":"","updated_at":"2014-08-05T17:46:11Z","upload_count":0,"used_in":[],"yield":"","youtube_id":"GTOtXoeDAbQ","tags":[{"id":29,"name":"dinner"},{"id":33,"name":"sous vide"},{"id":42,"name":"fish"},{"id":102,"name":"seafood"},{"id":246,"name":"winter"},{"id":335,"name":"shellfish"},{"id":336,"name":"sousvide supreme"},{"id":358,"name":"raw"},{"id":547,"name":"holiday"},{"id":551,"name":"appetizer"},{"id":552,"name":"amuse bouche"},{"id":601,"name":"christmas"},{"id":617,"name":"healthy"},{"id":793,"name":"polyscience"},{"id":826,"name":"pescatarian"},{"id":837,"name":"half shell"},{"id":838,"name":"raw bar"},{"id":839,"name":"hors d'oeuvres"},{"id":840,"name":"fresh"},{"id":841,"name":"new years"},{"id":842,"name":"cocktail party"},{"id":843,"name":"passed apps"},{"id":152,"name":"gluten free"},{"id":435,"name":"summer"},{"id":477,"name":"paleo"},{"id":478,"name":"main course"},{"id":479,"name":"lunch"},{"id":482,"name":"no Modernist ingredients"},{"id":486,"name":"brunch"},{"id":520,"name":"snack"},{"id":785,"name":"spring"},{"id":870,"name":"fall"}],"equipment":[{"optional":false,"equipment":{"id":201,"product_url":"http://www.chefsteps.com/sous-vide-collection","title":"SousVide Supreme"}}],"ingredients":[{"display_quantity":"","note":"","quantity":"0.0","unit":"a/n","ingredient":{"for_sale":false,"id":844,"product_url":null,"slug":"oysters","sub_activity_id":null,"title":"Oysters"}}],"steps":[{"activity_id":352,"audio_clip":"","audio_title":"","created_at":"2014-08-05T17:46:10Z","directions":"Preheat water bath to [c 60].","extra":null,"hide_number":null,"id":125076,"image_description":"","image_id":"{\"url\":\"https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/Qhk9jufQGeED3Fj2sULu\",\"filename\":\"oysters_1.jpg\",\"mimetype\":\"image/jpeg\",\"size\":623993,\"key\":\"pNRwye1iRHeE6937ZEoo_oysters_1.jpg\",\"container\":\"chefsteps-production\",\"isWriteable\":true}","is_aside":null,"presentation_hints":{"aside_position":"left"},"step_order":0,"subrecipe_title":null,"title":"","transcript":null,"updated_at":"2014-08-05T17:46:10Z","youtube_id":"","ingredients":[]},{"activity_id":352,"audio_clip":"","audio_title":"","created_at":"2014-08-05T17:46:11Z","directions":"Set a large ice bath next to the water bath.","extra":null,"hide_number":null,"id":125077,"image_description":"","image_id":"{\"url\":\"https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/Yk4PMKEVSx2YmQMM2nuo\",\"filename\":\"oysters_2.jpg\",\"mimetype\":\"image/jpeg\",\"size\":931896,\"key\":\"FT4cipgSSEejN5BRxT4t_oysters_2.jpg\",\"container\":\"chefsteps-production\",\"isWriteable\":true}","is_aside":null,"presentation_hints":{"aside_position":"left"},"step_order":4194304,"subrecipe_title":null,"title":"","transcript":null,"updated_at":"2014-08-05T17:46:11Z","youtube_id":"","ingredients":[]},{"activity_id":352,"audio_clip":"","audio_title":"","created_at":"2014-08-05T17:46:11Z","directions":"Place as many oysters in the water bath as you like, as long as the temperature doesn't drop more than 1.8 \u00b0F / 1 \u00b0C.\r\n\r\nCook small to medium-sized oysters for 5.5 minutes. 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