Americans eat more oysters than anyone else in the world. Could it be because of these exotic mollusks' reputation as an aphrodisiac? Oysters are harvested year-round but are most abundant from October to December. Because they spawn in the summer, they are not as large or as flavorful during the months "without an r," but they are edible and enjoyable then.
Selection: Fresh oysters are marketed either shucked or live in the shell. Shucked oysters are classified by size as stewing, standard or select. Oysters sold in the shell should be alive, as indicated by a tightly closed shell.
Preparation: Purists insist that the only way to eat oysters is raw, but they are delicious fried, baked, boiled, steamed or in soups.
Yields 4 servings
Mix cornstarch with one tablespoon of water in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add garlic, onion and ginger; stir-fry for approximately one minute. Add oysters, orange juice and soy sauce; stir fry for an additional 30 seconds. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until sauce just starts to thicken, about 1 minute more. Serve immediately with rice.
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