Visit waitrose.com/howto for a video clip of this and other easy-to-follow culinary techniques.
Oysters are the ideal starter for a romantic Valentine's Day meal. Enjoy the fresh, briny taste as it is, or add extra kick with black pepper and fiery Tabasco sauce. Only use oysters that are shut or that close when tapped. Available from the fish service counter.
To shuck, or open, an oyster, grip it firmly in a clean tea towel and insert a knife into the hinged edge. Twist to open the shell.
Run the knife along the inside of the top shell, cutting the muscle that attaches the oyster to the shell.
Lift off the top shell, then slide the knife under the oyster to cut the second muscle.
Oysters will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours.