Awe Shuck It!
Seattle based Vanagon owners organized a small campout for me up in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. As soon as one of my friends mentioned he planned to stop and get some oysters for us to cook over the campfire I was sold! Talk about being extremely excited. Fresh oysters sounds so much better then the turkey cold cut sandwiches I was originally planning on having for dinner.
We left camp Saturday morning and headed to Hama Hama Oysters in Lilliwaup in order to stock up for dinner. Hama Hama Oysters is a fifth generation family-run shellfish farm on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and has a reputation for providing the area with some of the best oysters in the region. We were camped about 20 miles away so the drive wasn't bad at all. Heck for fresh camp oysters I would have driven 3 times that distance without a complaint.
The fresh seafood market side of Hama Hama Oysters has a large variety of items to choose from. This is great for those that want to purchase fresh oysters, clams and/or crab in order to cook yourself.
Various tubs are set aside with different sized oysters and clams to choose from. Each tub houses a different size and variety of shellfish.
We chose a 5 dozen bag of Small Oysters and a 5 dozen bag of Medium Oysters.
Hama Hama Oysters are harvested from the beach in the Puget Sound south of Lilliwaup. Hama Hama also offers a "Blue Pool" variety of oysters which are farm raised and have more of a hands on approach to their growth. These Blue Pools are tumbled which allow them to grow a much deeper shell and the smoother exterior makes them easier to shuck. Blue Pool's are Hama Hama's "top shelf" oysters so to speak.
It was very tough to walk out of here without a crab or 10 for our campout but I managed. Next time we camp out we'll have a crab boil!
Fans of smoked Salmon will love Hama Hama's choice of Smoked Atlantic Salmon flavors. I tried two, the Lemon Pepper and the Maple Sugar. The Lemon Pepper was pretty decent, nothing to brag about BUT the Maple Sugar Salmon was "knock your socks off" kinda good! Oh man... I didn't have a problem sharing my Lemon Pepper salmon with my friends but I was a bit stingy with the Maple Sugar salmon. That stuff was amazing!
Other options also available.
Don't want to shuck your own oysters? Buy them preshucked!
Don't want to carry a ton of fresh oysters home in your car? Then just visit the Hama Hama Saloon which is on site where you can stop in and eat them there. Order what you'd like, have a seat and enjoy the great views.
Definitely a cool fire pit!
The Saloon has plenty of seating space for people to sit and enjoy their food. Our original idea was to maybe caravan from camp and meet here in order to have lunch but cooking them over a camp fire sounded so much better.
Here's the 10 dozen we purchased. We provided our own tub for transport.
Mark, our head oyster wrangler/cook was in charge of cooking them up for us. He laid out a large metal shelf which acted like a grill over our huge fire pit. We previously spread out the logs and coals evenly so that the entire grill could get plenty of heat. Nothing like a campfire dinner.
Once the oysters "popped" open a bit on their own, Mark and David shucked them and placed the half shell back on the grill with a little beer in them to help the seasoning. Yum!
Once they were done I finished them off with some lime juice and some Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Perfection!
Best. Camp. Dinner. EvaR.