Noirmoutier Oysters

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      30 min

Appears in

The French Kitchen: A Cookbook

The French Kitchen

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2002

  • About

Some recipes use cooked oysters, but much more usual is to eat them raw, with nothing but a little lemon juice or shallot vinegar, a glass of Muscadet and a view of the ocean.


  • 2 shallots, peeled and very finely diced
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 24 Brittany or Vendée oysters
  • seaweed or crushed ice, to garnish
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • sourdough bread, finely sliced
  • Tabasco
  • freshly ground black pepper


    Mix the shallots and vinegar together in a small bowl. Shuck the oysters: place each oyster, rounded side down, in a cloth and hold with one hand. Insert an oyster knife at the narrow end of the oyster, between the two shells, and wiggle, keeping the blade flat. You may need some strength, but the shell will eventually give and open. Run the knife along the inside of the top shell to release the oyster muscle, remove the top shell and cut the oyster free from the bottom shell.

    Arrange the prepared oysters on a bed of crushed ice or seaweed. Serve with the shallot vinegar, lemon wedges, sourdough bread, the bottle of Tabasco and the pepper mill at the table.