• Wash your hands before and after handling the seafood

• Fresh oysters should smell fresh and mild, with no fishy or ammonia-like odors

• Keep oysters iced and in airy packaging after purchase

• Store oysters flat side up to ensure they don't open and lose flavour

• Do not store in closed containers or in plastic bags

• Do not transport or store oysters in water or in direct contact with melted ice

• Properly stored oysters will keep up to 3 weeks at 5oC

• Shucked fresh oysters can only be frozen for up to 3 months

PEI Cultured Oysters >>

Cultured oysters are a versatile shellfish which can be prepared and used in a variety of ways. They can be steamed, baked, battered, deep or pan-fried, pickled or smoked. Of course, many locally produced oysters are simply shucked and eaten raw on the half shell. Oyster shucking contests are popular Island entertainment in the summer.

Following are just a small assortment of some of the tasty and nutritious ways of preparing oysters:

PA's Broiled Oysters

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 5-10 minutes
Serves 4

24 PEI Choice/Fancy Oysters scrubbed and washed
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
3-4 finely chopped green onions
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven broiler to 260°C (500°F).
Shuck oysters and save in deep cup with as much liquid as possible.
Arrange oysters on cookie sheet that has been covered with tin foil.
Spoon a tsp of melted butter on each
Add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice.
Sprinkle cracker crumbs on top.
Add bits of chopped green onion
Top with shredded mozzarella
Tip for softer cheese, broil oysters without it for 5-8 minutes, take out of oven and add the cheese for the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Cream of Oyster Soup

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

20 PEI Fancy/Choice or Standard Oysters scrubbed and washed
15 g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup of cream
6 fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tsp lemon juice

Shuck oysters, save liquid and oysters in separate bowls
Chop 8 oysters and save
Melt butter in small saucepan
Add onion
Cover and cook over low heat until soft but not brown
Add wine and simmer for 4-5 minutes
Add the oyster stock to pan, simmer for 2 minutes
Add cream and 6 chopped oysters and simmer 5 minutes more
Strain the mixture pushing the oysters to the side to extract as much flavour as possible
Discard solids in the strainer
Return the liquid to the pan and bring to boil
Add lemon juice and reserved oyster liquid
Add salt & pepper to taste
Ladle into small bowls and add 3 oysters to each and garnish with basil.

Oysters Rockefeller

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 10 appetizers or 4 main course

20 PEI Choice/Fancy Oysters scrubbed, shucked on the half-shell, liquid reserved
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 lb fresh watercress or spinach, chopped
6 medium shallots, chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped celery
1 tbsp finely chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp aniseed
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped or ½ tsp dried
1 tbsp anchovy paste
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
1/2 cup heavy cream

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Hot pepper sauce, to taste, optional

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°C)
In skillet, melt butter and sauté parsley, watercress or spinach, shallots, celery and green pepper.
Cook 5-6 minutes over medium heat, until watercress or spinach is wilted.
Stir in remaining ingredients, except the oysters, adding a little extra cream or bread crumbs as needed to achieve a consistency of a thick sauce.
Spoon the watercress or spinach mixture over each oyster meat, dividing evenly.
Place oysters on baking sheet in oven for 4-6 minutes, or until hot and bubbling.

Serve immediately.

Pan Fried Oysters and Herbs

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
Serves 1

6 PEI Choice/Fancy Oysters scrubbed, shucked and retain half-shell
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp shallot, minced
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato, concasse
4 tbsp flour
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a small non-stick skillet and add butter.
Quickly roll oysters in flour and place in pan
Add shallots and herbs
Sauté until golden brown
Season and ad tomatoes
Toss twice and serve in reserved half shel

Season's Oyster Chowder

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 1

6 PEI Choice/Fancy Oysters scrubbed, shucked and liquid retained
1 potato, cut into small cubes
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 small onion finely diced
2 tbsp butter
6 fennel seeds
1 cup chicken stock
90 ml cream
Salt & pepper to taste

Add celery, onions and fennel seeds in butter to a medium saucepan
Add stock (fish may be substituted) and potatoes
Cook until potatoes are tender
Add cream and gently cook for 2-3 minutes
Carefully stir in shucked oysters and reserved juices
Season and serve.

Oysters Florentine

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 1

6 PEI Choice/Fancy Oysters scrubbed, shucked and bottom shell retained
1 shallot minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 mushrooms, finely chopped
6 strips bacon, halved
24 spinach leaves, washed, stems removed
90 ml cream
Salt & pepper to taste

Slightly precook bacon
In large saucepan, gently sweat garlic, shallot and mushrooms in 1 tsp of butter
Add spinach leaves
Cook until wilted
Add heavy cream and season
Place the oyster back in the bottom shell
Top with spinach mixture and lay bacon strips in an "X" over top of the shell
Bake in preheated oven 180°C (350°C) for 5 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.

Serve immediately.

Lemon Pickled Oysters (serves 4-6)

Supplied by Canada's Smartest Kitchen

PEI oysters are known around the world for their fresh, briny taste and crisp texture. In addition to being delicious, they are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. However, oysters can be an intimidating food to work with if you’ve never used them before. The hardest part is getting past the shell but it is a technique you can quickly master with the right tools. The extra work is worth it when you get that sweet oyster liquor.
Some oyster purists will say the only way to eat a freshly shucked oyster is raw but this recipe attempts to appeal to everyone by ever so slightly cooking them while maintaining their creamy texture. This recipe offers a very simple and hopefully different approach to oysters than what you may be used to. There are a wide array of serving options with pickled oysters, including salads, back in their shells or on their own, so feel free to be creative. My favourite way is on a freshly toasted crostini rubbed with garlic and tomato, topped with salty cured meat.


1 dozen oysters

2    Garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup  (125 ml) Red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup  (65 ml)  Fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup  (65 ml)  White wine vinegar
1/2 cup  (125 ml) Sherry
2 tsp  (10 ml)  Sugar
1    Bay leaf
½ tsp  (2.5 ml) Chili flake
½ tsp  (2.5 ml) Salt
A pinch    Pepper, cracked or whole


Shuck oysters. Place in medium mason jar. 
Combine all ingredients for the pickling liquid. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavours.
Immediately pour over oysters and cover. Cool to room temperature and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Make ahead: Can reserve oysters in brine, refrigerated for up to three days.

About the Chef:

Marshall Bell obtained his culinary training from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), graduating in 2014. Prior to this, he earned a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Food Science and Technology, from the University of Alberta in 2011. With both technical knowledge and practical training, Marshall has competed in multiple food product development competitions, winning both at the provincial and national levels. 

A new addition to the Canada’s Smartest Kitchen team, Marshall has brought his skills, knowledge and love for food out East to create delicious recipes and products. 

• Hold oyster in the palm of your hand, or hold tightly against a hard surface with the cup or deep side down

• Protect your hand by wearing a heavy-duty rubber glove or folded kitchen towel

• Keep the bottom shell level to prevent spilling liquor

• Locate the hinge and insert a knife between the shells by gently working it back and forth

• When the knife is well in, twist back and forth to open

• Slide the knife across the top of the shell to cut the muscle and run under the body of the oyster

Watch the John Bil’s shucking video