It’s My Party, And We’ll Shuck ‘Cause I Want To

I don’t think it needs to be said again, but I’ll say it anyway. I love oysters. Besides the facts that make them so insanely neat, I love them, most of all, for their ability to bring friends closer together, put smiles on faces and fill (some of) us with mixed feelings of dread, wonder and respect. From childhood, oysters have been a favourite of mine and will remain on my love-list forever. They never cease to amaze me!


Last month I turned twenty-eight. Twenty-eight on the twenty-eighth. To be more specific: my ‘champagne birthday’. I decided to plan something fun for this once-in-a-lifetime happening and, almost in the same instant, I decided that oysters had to be involved. If you know me well enough (or have thoroughly explored this blog), you know that it makes perfect sense that I would gather my friends on my birthday for a group Oyster 101 and shuckfest. All my favourite people AND oysters (AND spicy caesars) in the same place? That just can’t be beat. Nothing could make me happier than to share a bit of oyster-love with the ones I love! Also: can I really be friends with you if you don’t know a thing or two about oysters? (Kidding…sort of not, though.)



I held my birthday oyster shucking class at Oyster Boy, (best oyster bar in Toronto!) and invited all my besties. Continue reading

Homemade Chinese Fish Balls…The Way They Should Be Made

Fish balls are a staple in many Asian homes. In Hong Kong they are a popular street food. There are as many fish ball stands in Hong Kong as there are hot dog stands in North America. They can be eaten on their own, fried, boiled, with noodles, in curry, in hot pots, on skewers, barbecued or any way you can think of cooking them! All ways are delicious!

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As delicious as they are, it shocked me when I looked into what ingredients were used in most store-bought and restaurant-served fish balls. If you read my earlier fish ball post, you’ll recall all the details. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking here. It also includes a recipe for a healthy alternative to the traditional Asian fish balls (crispy pan-fried fish balls).

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I’ve received a lot of comments and requests for me to post a recipe for homemade, traditional, Chinese fish balls. So, as I promised a few months ago, I did some research and tried it out on my own. Making your own fish balls, or fish paste, obviously takes more time and effort than opening a frozen package from the store, but it’s definitely worth the effort if you want your food fresh, preservative-free and without added fillers in the ingredients. Continue reading

A Classic Mignonette: An Oystergirl’s Best Friend

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a girl like me would have to say that there are far better things in life than diamonds. For me, this list includes oysters. Some of the most beautiful things in the world come from the sea, a whole different world full of colours and life and secrets that will never be revealed to us. Oysters, to me, are the secrets of the ocean contained. Each beautiful shell unique and carrying the smell, the taste and the stories of the sea.


If you don’t know by now, oysters are one of my favourite things in the world. They are not only a favourite food, they are an astoundingly complex and interesting species to study. I could spend days discussing my love for oysters and all the good they bring to this world. If you’d like to hear more about that, for the love of oysters, click here!

If you love eating these briny beauties as much as I do, you must know that going out to an oyster bar can start to get expensive. Shucking them yourself is lots of fun (if you know how) and a great money saver! I’ll seriously warn you though, please shuck carefully! You don’t want to hurt yourself! If you’re in Toronto (Ontario, Canada), I recommend contacting Oysterboy to do a shucking class! Lots to learn, and lots of fun!

Shucking your own oysters has lots of benefits! You save money, you can enjoy oysters in the comfort of your own home (or whatever environment you please) and you can impress friends and family at get togethers or family gatherings. Oysters are great for any occasion!

There’s nothing better than a freshly shucked oyster eaten as is, but I do like to play around with different flavours so I always have my go-to sauces and oyster-sidekicks available. Continue reading

Lobster Linguine With Saffron & Cream

I almost jump at every opportunity to use saffron in my cooking. I have an unexplained love for it’s delicate strands, gorgeous colour, and subtle earthy flavour. Saffron is harvested from the Crocus sativus flower, a member of the Iris family. Cultivated for thousands of years in Asia Minor, it is used in perfumes, dyes, medicine and, of course, for its wonderful flavour in food and drinks. There’s something so beautiful about the deep maroon shade of the strands and the rich golden yellow that comes from the tip of the thread (from which the saffron spice is derived.) It makes me smile from the inside out. 🙂


“According to Greek mythology, handsome mortal Crocos fell in love with the beautiful nymph Smilax. But alas, his favors were rebuffed by Smilax, and he was turned into a beautiful purple crocus flower.” (

Here is the crocus flower that saffron comes from. So pretty!

This dinner all began with a request for lobster tagliatelle. I didn’t know where to begin, so I began where I always do…the recipe hunt. I was looking for simple recipes that required ingredients I already had at home. (Minus the lobster of course.) I found a few seafood tagliatelle recipes that I liked, but stuck with this one as a guideline, making my own alterations here and there based on what I wanted to make and the ingredients I had available at home. The result was a lobster linguine in a light creamy sauce. Delicious! Continue reading

Shucking Up A Storm!

You may think it’s a waste of time and money to take an oyster shucking class, and that your pry-it-open-with-a-screwdriver, smash-it-with-a-hammer, or stab-yourself-in-the-hand methods are working just fine, but I’d say learning the proper way is totally worth it.


Last weekend I took an oyster shucking class at Oyster Boy. It was so much fun. Eating oysters can be quite an expensive hobby. If you’re an oyster lover like me, I’m sure you already know this. Shucking your own oysters is a great skill to have. You can save money by buying your oysters at the market or from a wholesaler and shucking them yourself. But, I’m a believer in doing things the right way, which is why I wanted to learn to shuck from the experts. Impress your friends with gorgeously shucked oysters, that aren’t full of grit/sand.

The classes at Oyster Boy happen every weekend (Saturday and Sunday from 11:00-1:00). Each class holds 8-12 people and each shucker receives Continue reading

Lobster Mac And Cheese: THE BEST You’ll Ever Have.

Macaroni and cheese. Classic comfort food. I’ve had it over and over again throughout my life. There are some nights when you just crave that gooey, cheesy pasta…and tonight was one of those nights for me. I rummaged through cookbooks and looked online to find out where to begin. I had lobster tails in the freezer and right away thought, “LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE!”. I ended up picking out an Emeril seafood mac and cheese recipe to guide me.


I’ve had only a few really good macaroni and cheese experiences in my life. I find I’m often disappointed with what I am served at restaurants. I get so excited at the table when I see lobster, or crab, or truffle mac and cheese on the menu. The excitement builds until my food arrives, and then I’m usually let down by the not-as-glorious-as-I-thought-it-would-be dish of pasta. Continue reading

Spicy Creole Shrimp

This is a really quick, really simple, really tasty, really spicy, recipe. I LOVE spicy food, but I know that not everyone does, so I’m giving you the warning now: spice alert! That being said, you can adjust the recipe however you like to make it work for you. A simple solution: use less cayenne pepper and don’t add the deathly pepper from hell!


While I’ve sadly never been to New Orleans myself, although we’re planning a possible trip in JUNE! (Excitement!), I can certainly appreciate the wonderful flavours that it has to offer the food world. Creole cooking involves a beautiful mix of everything I love. If you’ve never tried this southern deliciousness, it’s hard for me to put into words. Creole cuisine is a combination of Caribbean, African, French, and Spanish flavour influences. Hot pepper, seafood, butter, citrus, tomato, onion, celery, rice, bean explosion of taste! It’s real comfort food.

Anyway, this is a quick recipe I found from a blog called Tummy Travels. I tried it with my tiger shrimp last weekend as part of a huge seafood feast I unintentionally put together. I wouldn’t say it’s a classic Shrimp Creole. I think that involves more veggies, a tomato base, a nice saucy gravy-ness and it’s traditionally served over rice. This shrimp could be a main served with French bread or a good addition to any meal. It’s got nice Southern flavour and a good kick to it!

Cooking shrimp makes me think of Bubba from the movie Forrest Gump (hope you’ve seen it). Bubba knows a million ways shrimp, “the fruit of the sea”, can be cooked. I love this clip! 🙂

The tiger shrimp I used were headless, but I cooked them with the shells on. Heads on, ever better! You can find whole shrimps at most Asian grocery stores if you don’t see any at your usual store or market. Cooking shrimp with the heads and shell intact add so much more flavour! All the juices are kept inside. In New Orleans, crawfish and shrimp are always cooked whole. The best part is pulling off the heads and sucking all the delicious juices and seasonings out of there before eating the rest of it. I know the heads freak some people out, but they’re delicious, I promise. In my half-Asian household, I grew up eating shrimps with heads. My sister and I discovered the next best thing to press-on nails…wearing the pointy/spiky shrimp head shells on our finger tips. It kept us entertained, and super stylish, at family dinners. (Cute…minus the shrimpy fingers afterwards.)

Spicy Creole Shrimp

The spicy stuff is optional…switch it up to keep things at the spice level you want.
This recipe called for 8 tablespoons of butter (a whole stick). I cut the butter amount in half. I didn’t want to go too butter crazy, but by all means, use more butter. More butter = more sauce, and a richer sauce.

  • 1- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp (I recommend doing them with shells and heads, but you can do headless, or peeled if you like)
  • ~1/2 – 1 tablespoon olive oil, to saute garlic
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon (my large lemon gave about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
  • 4-5 tablespoons butter (just cut butter into cubes and keep cold)
  • Sea salt, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic, and saute until garlic has softened.

2. Add all other ingredients except butter and shrimp. Allow this mixture to reduce for a couple minutes on medium heat. There wasn’t too much liquid and it reduced quite quickly. Don’t let it burn!

3. Add your shrimp into the pan, cooking one side and then flipping to cook the other. Two minutes on each side should be sufficient. The shrimps are cooked when they turn pink.

4. Turn to low heat and begin slowly incorporating cubes of butter.

5. When well mixed you should have a gorgeously rich, amber, shrimp creation.

6. Plate and serve!

Enjoy! xx

St. Lawrence Market: This Weekend’s Seafood Haul…And Resulting Feast

So it’s been established that I should not be allowed to roam St. Lawrence Market unsupervised. It’s like giving a kindergarten kid a hundred bucks and sending them to the candy store… a bit too much of a good time.

For those of you who don’t know the St. Lawrence Market, it’s the largest indoor market in Toronto and consists of two buildings. The North Market is home to weekly farmer’s markets and antique markets, while the South Market is a two-floor food market filled with fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, seafood, pasta, wine, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, florists, and even kitchen ware (everything you could think of). For those of you who do know the market, you can probably understand why I lose control when I’m there. It’s like a food lover’s dream come true.


Saturday afternoon I decided to head over to the market just to “check it out”. Continue reading

This Kitten Is Now On Facebook And Twitter!

This Hungry Kitten is finally on Facebook and Twitter! Like and share! Follow and tweet!

I’ve also given the blog a makeover and hope you like the changes. I’d love to hear suggestions.

Came across this gem today, and it made me smile. 🙂

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Thanks for reading! xx

Oyster Boy: An Oyster Girl’s Dream

It only took me a dozen oysters at Oysterfest in Toronto two years ago to realize what I’d been missing out on for so many years. I hadn’t eaten raw oysters before that special day, and fell in love with the briny beauties instantly. I didn’t know much about oysters or the oyster community in Toronto back then. All I knew was that I needed to find out where the best oysters were, and have some more!



It’s not only their AMAZING oysters that make Oyster Boy my favourite oyster bar. It’s also the atmosphere. I love everything about the place. It’s a small, warm, cozy restaurant by Trinity Bellwoods Park on Queen Street West with wonderful food and terrific people. Everyone is extremely friendly, from the shuckers, to the servers, to the chefs. It’s one of those restaurants that you walk into and can feel the love. You feel their love for oysters, for the restaurant, and for eachother. The restaurant is simply, and very well, decorated. The walls are adorned with all things oyster and the sea. You’ll find a beautiful collection of everything from family photos to seaside memorabilia, art, maps, and oyster shells. They’ve even got pretty little oyster shell light fixtures along the walls. You can tell each of these pieces has got a story behind it, and that’s what makes it more special than anything. Take the time to check it all out. Oyster boy is like a small family that welcomes you into their home. I sometimes joke that it’s my second home (and by joke, I mean I sort of wish it was). Everything’s just so great there that it seems silly to go anywhere else. For a while I didn’t even bother trying other oyster bars. I’ve now tried a handful of places in Toronto, and have to say that Oyster Boy remains my fave.

Oyster Boy has built a strong reputation for being one of the best oyster houses in the city. They are also one the main suppliers of oysters in Toronto, catering to restaurants, events, and private parties. Their oysters are always fresh and you’ll find some of the top shuckers in Canada behind the oyster bar. They’re super friendly, and so knowledgable. There’s lots to learn, so ask away! In fact, they hold really great shucking classes at the restaurant on weekends. I did a class a few months ago and it was loads of fun. You’ll learn more than you’d ever dream about oysters and all the tricks to shucking them the right way. The best part though, of course, is eating your first 16 self-shucked beauties.

My first time shucking at a shucking class. Call to check availability and book a class. Booking a class with a group of friends or colleagues for a birthday or work event is a great idea. 🙂

Our two dozen from my visit last week. These were Plack Pearls (BC), Kumamotos (USA), and St. Simons (NB). Delish. We always ask the shucker which oysters are particularly good that day. If you’re not sure which oysters to order, be sure to ask. The servers and shuckers know their stuff, and they’ll give you great suggestions.

The St. Simon oyster is one that we order quite regularly. This is a great one to start with for oyster-eating beginners. St. Simons are light, salty, slightly sweet, and delicate…nothing too robust.

The Black Pearls were really yummy, and they’re gorgeous to look at. The shells were more thin and delicate than most others I’ve seen, and the oysters had frilly black edges. They were a perfect combination of salty and sweet, and almost had a slight watermelon or melon rind flavour to them. We liked these so much that we saved them for last. 🙂

Kumamotos have always been a favourite of mine. Definitely worth a try…and then another try (and another one). They are small oysters that originate from the Kumamoto region of Kyushu, Japan. They were transported to the United States and are now farmed on the west coast. They have deep cupping, fluted shells (like a little oyster bucket…so cute) and a mild, smooth, sweet taste. They are sometimes described as having a buttery flavour. I’ve also heard them be referred to as a “dessert oyster”. I always say they’re like the cheesecake of oysters…maybe that’s taking it a little too far…I love cheesecake.

IMG_6272Oysters are always served with lemon, freshly grated horseradish, and three housemade sauces. The sauces include a cocktail sauce, a ginger and banana pepper hot sauce, and a shallot and red wine vinaigrette. The hot pepper blend is not too hot, it adds the perfect amount of spice, and the red wine vinaigrette is amazing. Their sauces are the best I’ve had.

There are cooked oyster options too, if you’re not into the whole raw seafood thing. They bake oysters a few different ways, or you can order them fried. I’ve tried the Oysters Royale, baked with crab meat and a sherry bechamel. A really nice change from the classic Rockefellers you find at most other restaurants.

There are so many other oyster varieties I’ve eaten at Oyster Boy. Some of the others include Black Point, Beach Angel, Malpeque, Caraquette, Caspumpec, Cavendish Cup, and Colville Bay oysters. Try some from the east coast, and some from the west. Mix it up!

They have my favourite beer on tap. (Another plus.) Pints of Beau’s (and Jameson) have become our Oyster Boy tradition. It’s what I order every time I’m there. Spicy caesars are good too (with fresh horseradish, yum!).

Although oysters are a main attraction for me, I cannot deny that the rest of the menu is equally delicious! Oyster Boy is a seafood lover’s dream come true. I’ve been lucky enough to try a number of different menu items on my many visits. We always order a couple of other things to go with our oysters.

I am a huge chowder fan and the Sustainable Seafood Chowder here is really good. It’s rich and hearty, and the nice, plump clams are the best part. A lot of the time they have a daily soup special as well, so make sure you ask your server. The daily specials are always tres fab!

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This is a past soup special: Smoked Whitefish Jalapeno Corn Chowder, with fingerling potatoes and topped with seasoned popcorn. It was similar to the Smoked Jalapeno Corn Chowder with Smoked Oysters they served at Soupstock 2012.

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Oyster Boy makes a pretty mean fish taco…and fish tacos rule! The fish is crisp, juicy and has got nice, spicy flavour. The juicy, saucy goodness tends to leak all over your hands and you end up with sauce all over your face, but this is what tacos are about. Ask for some extra napkins and dig in. Enjoy them!

Steamed clams and mussels are both classic seafood favourites, and we order them here time and time again. The mussels are done three ways: classic garlic, white wine, parsley broth, a coconut curry broth, and a smoky tomato chorizo broth. I’ve tried all three. The coconut curry broth can be a nice change if you’re in a curry kind of mood, but you can’t go wrong with the classic. The clams are steamed in the classic garlic, white wine, parsley broth, and usually plump and juicy. (If you ask nicely you could try them in one of the mussel flavours.) Don’t forget to ask for bread to mop up that broth!

They serve whole steamed shellfish, lobster or crab (when it’s available). It’s so much cheaper to steam one of these bad boys at home, but you deserve a treat every now and then! The dungeness crab we had was fresh and perfectly steamed.

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The Sturgeon Ceviche is divine. It’s a great starter, served with crispy taro chips.

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I love oyster boy’s thin-cut shoestring fries. They are to die for, and a great side to add to your meal. They come with a choice of chipotle, lime jalapeno aioli, or a curry sauce on a half oyster shell. 🙂 They also offer yummy onion rings, the size of your hand!

They’ve got other seafood favourites such as crab cakes and fish and chips (I’ve heard the fish and chips are really great), along with some tasty salads as well. They also serve pasta and non-seafood options. (I’m usually there for seafood.) Always check what the daily specials are because they are always AMAZING! They have some really creative delicious choices!

We always stop by late in the evening, so I’ve never had to wait for a table, although I’ve heard it gets crazy busy during prime meal times. Reserve a table to be safe.

I’ve hopefully inspired you to give this place a try. It’s one of my favourite restaurants and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Click here to visit their website. (FYI: I don’t think their menu is up to date.) Like them on Facebook!

Happy seafooding! xx