OYSTERS!

A variety of ways to prepare oysters

I have a hard time grilling oysters, because I eat them before they ever make it to the grill. I do have a few ways of cooking oysters on the grill, although it's more accurate to say that I warm/smoke them on the grill. If you are serving oysters straight up you never want to truly cook them, they should have a texture that is best described as "creamy". Cook them too long and they become very tough. So warm them, add some smoke to them, but don't really "cook" them.

Grill set up:

  • Really low heat - just smoldering chunks of light wood (apple, pecan, etc)

Ingredients: OK - this is going to get weird. This is not really one recipe. Let's start with a few ideas/concepts.

First one. Buy a small bag of flaming hot Cheetos. Was I drunk when I first tried this? Maybe. Eat most of them, but save 5-10 of them, along with the dust at the bottom of the bag. Smash up the remaining Cheetos. Smoke the oysters in your grill for 5 minutes or so, sprinkle with the Cheetos dust. Enjoy - this is surprisingly awesome! On a side note, Pringles don't go well with oysters, been there, tried that (although they do have some great uses).

OK, so lets get fancy for this next one to make up for just throwing crushed up Cheetos on oysters. This has a real ingredients list.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oysters
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbl Mirin
  • 2 tsp Togorashi (or red pepper flakes and sesame seeds)
  • About 1/4 cup of Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)

For this approach, do the same - low fire, 5-10 minute smoke, but add the liquids and togorashi before putting them on the grill. Sprinkle the katsuobushi on top while it is still hot. This is VERY important - it needs to be hot! Katsuobushi is thinly sliced dried bonito flakes that wave around when placed on warm food (it's usually placed on warm takoyaki). Having oysters with moving fish flakes on top of them is almost Lovecraftian, and is an awesome presention.

Another approach is to put a little compound butter on them, and heat just enough to melt the butter. To make the butter melt 1/2 stick (4 Tbl) butter in a pan, then sautee 2 finely diced cloves of garlic and half a shallot (again, finely diced) in the butter. Take off the heat and stir in 1 Tbl diced parsley (or ramps if they're in season!). Place a dab of the butter on each oyster and heat until the butter melts (about 5 minutes).

So what type of oysters should you get? I like large East coast oysters, they're salty and meaty. I like that. Wellfleet are my usual go to oyster, but if I can find Damariscotta oysters I'm all up ons on those (I harvested those myself growing up). Compass Points are my favorite West Coast oysters, and since O'Hare has started direct flights to New Zealand I've gotten into Coromandels too.

One of the hardest things about grilling oysters is how to keep them from falling over. Your best bet is to take a pan and fill it with coarse salt, sand, pea gravel, or any type of coarse material that will support them. I usually use a small paella pan with pea gravel, but a cast iron skillet works well too.

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Applewood smoked Wianno oysters sprinkled with flaming hot @cheetos dust - the breakfast of champions! @wabashseafoodcompany #livefirecook #livefirecooking #livefire #woodfire #firecooking #cookingwithfire #homecooked #cooking #bbq #barbeque #barbecue #foodstagram #foodie #grilling #grilled #grill #goodeats #foodphotos #cookingskills #enfuego #fuego #cookingoutside #outdoorcooking #foodporn #chicago #oysters #seafood

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Got some GREAT oysters from @wabashseafoodcompany on Friday. Ate most of them right after shucking, but grilled some of them two ways. The first was with butter mixed with chives, garlic scapes, and piment d’espelette. The second was with a splash of soy/mirin/togarashi and topped with katsuobushi (and when I say grilled I mean warmed enough to melt the butter) #livefirecook #livefirecooking #livefire #woodfire #instafood #firecooking #cookingwithfire #cooking #bbq #barbeque #grilling #grilled #grill #goodeats #cookingoutside #outdoorcooking #foodporn #chicago #oysters

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Saturday lunch - some great Wellfleet and French Kiss oysters from @wabashseafoodcompany put a splash of soy/mirin on them with togorashi pepper and topped with katsuobushi. A total umami bomb! #livefirecook #livefirecooking #livefire #woodfire #instafood #firecooking #cookingwithfire #homecooked #cooking #bbq #barbeque #grilling #grilled #grill #goodeats #cookingoutside #outdoorcooking #foodporn #chicago #oysters #japanesefood #katsuobushi #soy #togorashi

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