Bruny Island Oysters: Get Shucked Succulents.
As most visitors to Bruny Island know, or soon find out, the island is a real foodies paradise. Just alighting from the ferry at Roberts Point for example, Dave will provide you with the basis of a great picnic in the form of home baked fetta pies (with his home grown cherry tomatoes)………….………followed by muffins……….……….. and the best coffee on the island. Before you travel much further on the main drag to the south of the island, there’s cherries to be bought at the side of the road (limited season only!), smoked goods from Bish and then a bit further on and into Great Bay – the famed oysters and cheeses. But this is as far as the road goes for this particular yarn.
Get Shucked is owned and run by islander, Joe Bennett……….……..and his partner Nicole at Great Bay. The business started out in 2004 when Joe and Nicole purchased the oyster farm as a barely going concern and soon after, they were selling their super fresh oysters from a caravan to locals and tourists alike. But in 10 short years, they’ve not only created a world renown reputation for their product but this year, celebrated the opening of their newly furbished premises. With outdoor seating………..………fronted by fresh garden produce growing in tubs that somehow defy the onslaughts of the local wildlife………..…………and into the interior with its distressed timber counter and polished concrete floor. Whilst you wait for your order you can check out the shucking process………….……….and purchase the neatest shucking knives for a mere 8 bucks.Get shucked cultivates the Pacific oyster……….. ……..Crassostrea gigas, a native to the pacific coast of Asia. This was first introduced to Tasmania during the 1940’s. Oysters are filter feeders obtaining plankton through their gills by filtering 30 litres of water per hour. Get Shucked oysters are usually harvested at about 2-3 years of age…………….………….in the pristine waters of Great Bay……… ……….evidence of the freshness of the product abounds. So Brunyfire’s purchase of a dozen unshucked and shucked Get Shucked oysters, fresh from the clear waters of Great Bay, were borne triumphantly back to the shack. The unshucked ones were placed in the great little chip fryer (picked up at the local tip shop for 20cents)……..……….and stuck onto the hot coals in the wood oven until they opened and their natural juices and the salt of the sea bubbled and steamed, just slurp them down straight, while they’re hot – unadulterated.Then try them freshly shucked with just a squeeze of lemon juice……….………….or toss a couple into a basic fish soup (made with some locally caught flathead, a little red chilli and coconut milk), and serve in one of Nicole’s lovely handthrown pottery cups (with beautiful rich green glaze and local Bruny red slip) with one of Dave’s salmon pies……..……….or try them lightly grilled on a Japanese hibachi.Brunyfire obtained this little beauty just recently and road-tested it to great effect – the grill was yet another Tip shop find that just fitted snugly inside the hibachi.This time, the freshly grilled oysters used a traditional Japanese dipping sauce. The following recipe for this fabulous sauce comes from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook.
Hibachi Grilled Oysters with Ponzu Dipping Sauce.
- 125 ml or half a cup, shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
- 6 gms or half a cup, bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
- 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 60 ml or 1/4 cup lemon:lime juice (50:50 mix)
Place the shoyu in a stainless steel pan and bring to the boil. Add the bonito flakes, then turn off the heat and leave to cool. Add the mirin and lemon/lime juice, strain (a coffee filter is useful here) into an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Ponzu sauce can be stored for up to 10 days. (Note: Yuzu juice, a hybrid of sour mandarin and Ichang papeda, is traditionally used when making ponzu but is hard to find, and very expensive. Brunyfire tracked it down at Wing and Co, Sandy Bay – at $18 a bottle).Then for a nightcap with a kick, try this SBS recipe for:
Japanese Inspired Oyster Shooters.
Note: the following recipe used an Aussie made sake and the recipe makes 18 – adjust to suit!!
- 1 litre mirin
- 250 ml sake
- 75 ml Japanese rice wine vinegar
- 50 ml light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp wasabi powder
- 18 freshly shucked oysters
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
- 1 teaspoon pickled ginger
Place mirin and sake into a non-reactive saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the wines reach boiling point, light a match (I love this bit) and burn off the alcohol fumes and once the flames have subsided, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour into a glass jug and add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and wasabi powder, stir until the wasabi has completely dissolved. Keep in the fridge for 24–48 hours to allow the wasabi sediment to settle, then strain off the clear liquid, being careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (it will keep for up to 1 week). Gently rinse each oyster in cold water to remove any grit from the shell and place one in each chilled shot glass. Fill the glasses with the chilled shooter mix, and, using a teaspoon to carefully raise the oyster top each with a small blob of wasabi paste and some pickled ginger and serve immediately for maximum impact.
Balmy days and interesting nights………………