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Traditional Oyster Recipes

Updated on August 28, 2011

How to Serve Oysters

Oysters can be prepared and served in a variety of traditional methods. Oyster recipes and serving styles usually depend on the season, types of oysters that are available and local culture.

In many parts of the world, oysters are served raw on the half shell, usually with lemon, hot sauce or other condiments. In North America, raw oysters are traditional a winter meal in most homes, although they are served raw in restaurants, bars and other settings on a year round basis. For those that have local oysters available, buying and serving oysters is a lower cost way to enjoy these healthy shellfish.

Oysters are often served with white wines. Choosing the best wine to drink with oysters often requires experimentation as the choice will depend on the origin of the oysters, serving method and personal preference.

Common wines that compliment oysters may include Muscadet, Chablis, Quincy, reuilly, white Bordeaux and white Coteaux du languedoc. Champagnes are also suitable for serving with oysters.

Steamed oysters, ready to eat.
Steamed oysters, ready to eat.

Steamed Oyster Recipe

In a seafood steamer, add just enough water to bring the level up to about an inch deep. Cook on a high heat source about 5 minutes or until steam escapes when the lid is opened slightly.

Add 24-36 oysters and an additional cup of water and cover, heating on medium heat. Steam oysters about 5-10 minutes, or until the majority of the oysters are open. Do not overcook.

Optionally, soft shell clams, littleneck quahogs or blue mussels may be steamed along with the oysters.

Serve hot, with sides of bowls of melted butter and vinegar.

Virginia Oyster

A fresh Virginia oyster.
A fresh Virginia oyster.

Traditional Oyster Dressing Recipe


1 pint shucked oysters
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
4 cups bread crumbs
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Drain oysters, saving juices. Remove any shell and chop oysters.

Simmer celery and onion in butter until tender.

Add oysters and oyster juice to vegetables; cooking for an additional 10 minutes.

Combine oysters, cooked vegetables, bread crumbs and seasonings in a large bowl; mix thoroughly.

Add additional oyster juice as necessary to get desired consistency.

Bake in a greased casserole dish for 30 minutes or until edges are brown.
Serve hot!

Traditional Oyster Stew


1 pint oysters with liquor
1 stick butter
1 cup fish stock or chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 potato, diced
3/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. parsley


In a sauce pan, heat butter, stock, wine and vegetables until the vegetables are tender. Add oysters and cream, and simmer until the edges of the oysters curl. Sprinkle with parsley when done.

Favorite Oyster Recipe Poll

What is your favorite way to serve and eat oysters?

See results


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I had had cold oysters on the half shell in a nice restaurant, and they were good! I hope to try your recipes, thank you for sharing!


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