Purists may shuck and slurp them straight from the shell, but there are a bevvy of delicious ways to capitalize on the possibilities of this versatile bivalve.
Roasted over an open flame, broiled with garlic butter, or served raw with a spritz of lemon—there are countless ways to enjoy an oyster. But cooking oysters is guaranteed to draw out new textures and flavors, like in the recipes below.
1. Grilled Oysters
Shuck your oysters (here’s how) and put them on a grill heated to 450 degrees, either on a baking sheet or shell side down on the grate. Top each oyster with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of chopped herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives, or even cilantro), then close the grill or cover with tin foil. Cook five minutes, or until the oysters are simmering in their shells. Remove the oysters with tongs and serve with crackers … or better yet, these seasoned saltines from Seattle chef, Renee Erickson.
Recipe to Try: Texas BBQ Oysters
2. Fried Oysters
To prepare perfect fried oysters (with a crispy crust and a custardy middle), heat 3-inches of canola oil to 360 degrees in a Dutch oven. Dredge shucked oysters in seasoned flour, then a whisked mixture of egg, water, and buttermilk, and finally, crushed potato chips, such as Zapp’s Voodoo. Fry the oysters for two to three minutes until golden, then remove and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with horseradish remoulade, pickled okra tartar sauce, or your favorite hot sauce.
Recipe to Try: Potato Chip Crusted Fried Oysters
3. Broiled Oysters
Oysters broiled in their shells and topped with buttery breadcrumbs look beautiful and taste divine. Heat the broiler, then mix melted butter, toasted breadcrumbs, lemon zest, chopped herbs (chervil, parsley, and tarragon) and distribute evenly over oysters on the half shell. Broil on a baking sheet for four minutes until the breadcrumbs toast and turn brown. Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe to Try: Broiled Oysters with Buttery “Dressing” Topping
4. Roasted Oysters
Roasted oysters can be prepared with a quick turn in the oven, or as The Grey’s Mashama Bailey in Savannah, Georgia, does, under wet burlap on a grill. Either way, make sure to try her garlic butter laden with ground sumac and flat-leaf parsley. Arrange 2 dozen oysters on a baking sheet or grill top, and cook at 450-degrees for 10 minutes, or until the oysters open. Spoon 2 teaspoons of Bailey’s melted garlic-parsley butter on each oyster, and dig in.
Recipe to Try: Oyster Roast with Garlic-Parsley Butter