How to open an oyster

1. Place the oyster with the domed side of the shell downwards on a board. Hold the shell in a thick cloth to help you grip and protect your hands.

2. Hold the tip of a short oyster knife to the hinge end of the shell and push it in firmly.

3. Ease the knife into the gap with enough pressure to cut through the muscle that holds the shell tightly shut. Twist the blade to prise it open.

4. Keeping the shell level to retain the juices in the domed half, run the knife along the inside of the uppermost flat shell to loosen the oyster.

5. Lift away the flat shell.

6. Release the oyster by running the knife under the muscle connecting it to the domed half of the shell. remove any bits of shell and sand and flip the oyster over before serving.