3 savory ways to eat and prepare oysters at home
There are many different ways that you can eat oysters. Oysters can be eaten raw on the half shell or they can be cooked in a variety of ways. Popular ways to cook oysters are grilled, fried, oven roasted or steamed. Whichever way you decide to eat your oysters you'll find them delicious and wanting to have more.
Raw oysters on the half shell
This is probably the most common way to eat fresh oysters and what you usually see served at restaurants. The nice thing about eating oysters raw is that there is not much preparation to be done before enjoying them.
If you order raw oysters at a restaurant they do the shucking for you. When they arrive at your table they are typically served in the half shell on a bed of ice. When the oyster is shucked the top half of the shell is removed leaving the oyster meat in the bottom half of the shell. The ice is not to keep them cool but is used as a bed to hold the oyster shell and prevent it from moving or turning over which would spill the oyster liquor.
If you are preparing the oysters yourself then you will need to shuck the oysters first before you can eat them. The best way to serve them is to get a large plate or an oyster plate and fill it with ice to set the half shells on. If you don't want to use ice you can use salt for the base which will also keep the oysters in place.
Typically when eating raw oysters they can be served with different condiments and sauces. Some popular choices are hot sauce, fresh lemon juice, horseradish sauce, cocktail sauce and mignonette sauce among others. Mignonette sauce is usually a mixture of shallots, vinegar, sugar, salt and white or black pepper.
Grilling oysters is pretty easy and you don't need to even shuck the oysters before putting them on the grill. The oysters can go directly on the grill while still inside the shell. Simply place them on the grill with the deep cup side down. As the oysters cook and heat up the shells will start to partially open up and they should be done in about 7-9 minutes depending on how hot you have the grill.
Once you pull the oysters off the grill remove the top shell and take a sharp knife or shucking knife and run it across the bottom to disconnect the abductor muscle. Top the oysters with anything you want like butter, fresh lemon juice, horseradish or cocktail sauce and enjoy.
Making fried oysters requires a little more work and cleanup than the other methods but you'll be happy you did it. Fried oysters can be enjoyed by themselves or many people enjoy them by making a po' boy sandwich.
To start you'll need to shuck the oysters and remove the meat, set the meat in a bowl and cover the oysters with milk or buttermilk. Fill a pot with oil, pour enough oil so that it will fully cover the oysters when they are added. Heat the oil to 360 degrees.
Get another bowl and put in enough flour, cornmeal and old bay seasoning and stir together. Now grab the oysters from the milk and coat them with the dry ingredients. Once they are coated carefully drop them in the pot with hot oil, do a few oysters at a time. They will only take about 3 minutes to cook and then remove them from the oil, let them cool down and enjoy.
There are many different ways to eat oysters. We covered only a few and we suggest you try them all. Other methods you can try is steamed, oven roasted, smoked or pickled.