If there is one shellfish I can't pass up, it's a fresh oyster. Squeeze on a little lemon juice, and a few drop of Tabasco sauce, and slurp these suckers down. Briny and umami, oysters are a delicacy of the sea. There is an added bonus when shucking up this delicacy, it's also sustainable. Oysters are filter feeders. That means they eat microscopic algae and nutrients that already exist in the water, and improve the quality of the water by filtering it out. Since they don't require any extra food or clean water, oyster farming is considered to be sustainable. Which is great news because these salt water bivalves taste amazing!
Now that your mouth is probably already watering, we'll stop talking oyster farming and start talking recipes. From the classic Oyster Rockefeller to a cheesy gratin, here are the most delectable ways to prepare some freshly shucked raw oysters.
1. Oysters Rockefeller
Oysters Rockefeller is a classic oyster recipe. Created in New Orleans in the 1800s, the original recipe was supposedly so rich is was named after John D. Rockefeller.
While we may not have the exact original recipe, if you have spinach, butter, parmesan, Pernod, and of course oysters, then you can make this savory recipe. Get the recipe here.
2. Oyster Stew
What better to pair with your oyster crackers than an oyster stew! Perfect for a chilly day, this easy creamy oyster stew has a handful of spices, sauteed onion, garlic, parsley, milk, and oysters all in one warming, flavorful bowl. Get the recipe here.
Chef's Note: If you can't get fresh oysters, opt for oysters packed in water, not smoked.
3. Buffalo Fried Oysters
Fan of buffalo wings? Try these Buffalo Fried Oysters. Oysters are marinated in Frank's Red Hot Sauce, battered, fried, then topped with a Frank's butter sauce. Frank's doesn't get any better than that. Get the recipe here.
4. Southern Fried Oysters
The trick to getting fried oysters just right is to use fresh oysters and frying oil that's up to temp. The trick to the best Southern fried oysters recipe is right here. I won't give away all the secrets, but you'll need some buttermilk and some Creole seasoning. Crispy on the outside, tender on this inside, this is how to fry the best oysters. Get the recipe here.
5. Taipei Po'Boy
Of course, we can't talk oysters without also including a satiating Po'boy recipe in the mix. While there are several ways you can doctor up your Po'Boy, you haven't had one quite like this. A crusty ciabatta piled high with cornmeal fried oysters, spinach, and a spicy Thai basil tartar sauce make for a Taiwanese street style inspired Po'Boy sandwich that is to die for. Get the recipe here.
6. Bacon Wrapped Smoked Oysters
Everything tastes better, even oysters wrapped in bacon. The ultimate bite of surf and turf, wrap the smoked oysters with a strip of bacon, bake them with a soy marinade, then serve these up to your patiently waiting guests. Get the recipe here.
7. Three Cheese Oyster Gratin
You have not had gratin until you've tried this Three Cheese Oyster Gratin. A recipe designed to impress guests, this gratin is layered with a dry white wine infused three cheese sauce and fresh oysters. Grab a loaf of crusty bread, because everyone will want to dive right in. Get the recipe here.
8. Broiled Gulf Oysters in a Garlic Butter Herb Gratin
Of course if a whole gratin is too much you can make these delectable single serving gratin topped oysters instead. A crumbly gratin topping made of breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, garlic, and parmesan tops the oyster with melted butter then is all broiled to a crisp perfection. Get the recipe here.
9. Chargrilled Oysters on a Half Shell
Feeling a little New Orleans fare? Try these Chargrilled Oysters on a Half Shell. Packed with a whirlwind of flavor, they're smoky, buttery, garlicky, lemony, cheesy, and everything yummy about eating cooked oysters. Get the recipe here.
Chef's Note: If you don't have an outside grill, you can do this with the broiler. Liquid smoke can be used in this case to give the broiled oysters a char-like flavor.
10. Green Butter Grilled Oysters
Whether you're having an elegant dinner party or simply want to spoil yourself, these Green Butter Grilled Oysters are a must. A Green Butter consisting of parsley, garlic, anchovies, and butter is topped on shucked oysters then broiled in the oven until the butter melts. Don't forget the artisan bread to go with it. Get the recipe here.
11. Hog Wash
Hog Island Oyster Company not only produces some quality oysters, but they make an excellent Hog Wash to go with it. Lucky for us, they share the recipe!
Rice vinegar, shallots, lime, and fresh herbs are the secret to this fresh oyster sauce. Shuck some oysters and dig in! One bite and you'll never want typical cocktail sauce again. Get the recipe here.
12. Grilled Oysters with Chipotle Bourbon Butter
Got 15 minutes? Good, then you'll be happy to know you can whip up these spicy, boozy oysters.
A scrumptious chipotle, butter, bourbon, and honey sauces is dolloped on top of the oysters, then broiled for a few minutes until the butter melts. Even people skeptical about oysters will agree this recipe is a winner. Get the recipe here.
13. Thai Oysters with Lime and Cucumber Granita
There are many ways to top oysters, but this Thai recipe is one of the most unique. A cucumber and lime granita with a spicy Thai dressing are the double dipping duo that you'll want with your fresh oysters. While the salty, sour granita may take a little time to prep, it's well worth it. Get the recipe here.
14. Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters
It wouldn't be a party without these Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters. Whip up a batch of mary's, pour them into shot glasses, top with a fresh oyster, and shoot them down! You're guests will simply love doing a couple rounds of these shooters. Get the recipe here.
15. Oyster Ceviche
Sure you've had shrimp ceviche and fish ceviche. Maybe you've even had scallop ceviche. But have you had oyster ceviche? Taking ceviche to another level, this is one recipe you've go to try.
Fresh oysters marinated in lime juice and mixed with tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and cilantro served with a side plantain chips will change how you ceviche. Get the recipe here.