Oyster Recipes

Although you may be most familiar with raw or fried oysters, these versatile shellfish can steal the show in a variety of delicious recipes. Try some of these classic recipes from Hooked on Seafood by Annette Reddell Hegen. Hegen was a Texas Sea Grant seafood consumer education specialist after retiring from the Texas Marine Advisory Service. Originally published by Texas Sea Grant in 1992, Hooked on Seafood is still available today as a free PDF book full of creative and time-tested recipes.

Oyster and Mushroom Soup

Serve this as a preamble to a special meal and set the stage for success! The delicious broth with cream and sherry simply envelopes the oysters.

1 pint shucked oysters
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
4 tablespoons margarine
1½ cups sliced mushrooms
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 cup light cream
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon sherry or ¼ cup dry white wine

In a large saucepan, sauté onion in margarine until translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté 2 to 3 minutes more. Add oysters and broth, then heat without boiling until oysters curl. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat throughout. Makes 4 servings.

Seafood Bisque

A hearty combination of shrimp, oysters, and crab meat is simmered in a thick broth. This has been around for ages and is a winter favorite.

½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pint fresh oysters
½ pound fresh blue crab meat
3 tablespoons minced celery
3 tablespoons chopped green onions and tops
2 tablespoons minced bell pepper
½ cup melted margarine or butter
1 can (10 ½ ounces) condensed cream of shrimp soup
1 can (13 ounces) evaporated milk
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons dry sherry

Cut large shrimp in half. Remove any remaining shell or cartilage from crab meat. In a large pot, cook celery, onions, and bell pepper in margarine until tender. Add shrimp, oysters, and crab meat. Cook over low heat until shrimp turn pink and oysters curl at the edges. Add remaining ingredients and heat to a near boil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Texas Oyster Nachos

If you like nachos, you’ll be hooked on this Brazoria County original.

1 pint shucked oysters and shells or shell stock oysters
Broken, salted tortilla chips
½ cup spicy red sauce
½ cup grated cheese
Sliced jalapeño peppers
Rock salt
Oyster shells

Drain oysters or shuck fresh ones. Pour rock salt in an oven-proof pan. Position clean shells in rock salt to steady them and to insulate the nachos. Place a few chip pieces in each shell, then an oyster on top. Add a dollop of red sauce and some grated cheese. Broil until the cheese melts and the edges of oysters curl. Top each nacho with a jalapeño slice. Serve hot, then make another batch. Makes 4 generous servings.

Creole Bouillabaisse

A soup of French Mediterranean origin made by fishermen’s wives from unsold portions of their husbands’ catches. Recipes have changed, but the principle remains — use an assortment of seafood. This is a winner.

1 pound fresh fish fillets, cut in 1½-inch chunks
1 pint fresh oysters
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup flour
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped celery
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cans (13 ounces each) chicken broth
1 large can (1 pound, 12 ounces) tomatoes, undrained, cut up
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Melt margarine in a large boiler pot over medium heat. To prepare roux, slowly blend in flour and stir constantly until mixture is light brown. Add onions, celery, garlic, and parsley and continue stirring until vegetables are tender. Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Add remaining ingredients except seafood. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes more or until all seafood is done. Makes 8 servings.

Angels on Horseback

Savory hors d’oeuvres of bacon-wrapped oysters, lightly seasoned and broiled to perfection. For variety, try this with shrimp.

1 pint fresh oysters
Bacon slices, cut in thirds
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon garlic salt
Wooden picks

Drain oysters. Place an oyster on each piece of bacon. Sprinkle with parsley and garlic salt. Wrap bacon around oyster and secure with a wooden pick. Place “angels” on broiler rack, about 4 inches from heat source, and broil 3 to 4 minutes. Turn carefully and broil on other side if desired. Cook only until bacon is done, being careful not to overcook oysters. Makes about 25 hors d’oeuvres.

Oysters in Pecan and Bran Crust

This adaptation is from Master Chef Victor Gielisse, Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he considers seafood a priority in his professional work.

1 pint fresh shucked oysters
1½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 lightly beaten eggs
2 cups finely chopped pecans
2 cups bran flakes
Canola oil for pan frying

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. In a three-step process, coat each oyster in flour, beaten eggs, and nut-bran mixture. Fry in hot oil about a minute on each side, or until oysters are a rich brown color. Drain and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Oysters Rockefeller

A classic dish named after John D. Rockefeller, this 1899 New Orleans recipe features oysters in a flavorful way.

1 pint large fresh oysters (approximately 18)
¼ cup margarine or butter
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped green onions including tops
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 package (10 ounces) frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted
1 peeled garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon anisette (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
Rock salt
18 oyster shells or ramekins
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter

In a small saucepan, sauté celery, onions, and parsley in margarine until tender. In blender, combine sautéed vegetables, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, anisette, and salt. Blend until almost pureed. When necessary, stop blender and push vegetables into blades. Fill a shallow, oven-proof serving dish with rock salt. Nest oyster shells into salt bed, which holds shells in place and keeps oysters hot. Place the oysters in the shells. Top each oyster with spinach mixture. Combine breadcrumbs and melted margarine, and sprinkle crumb mixture over oysters. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 6 appetizer servings of 3 oysters each.

Golden Fried Oysters

A popular way to enjoy one of the bay’s most treasured flavors.

24 fresh shucked oysters
2 egg whites, 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup flour
Canola oil for frying

Drain oysters. Combine eggs, milk, and seasonings. Dip oysters in egg mixture and roll in dry mixture. Repeat process to form double breading. Heat oil to 365 degrees. Fry oysters 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Makes 4 servings of 6 oysters each.

Nutty Oyster Balls

This unique item offers good flavor and interesting texture. Your friends will want the recipe!

1 pint fresh oysters
¼ cup blanched, toasted slivered almonds
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
Dash pepper
½ cup fine breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
Wallace sauce

Drain oysters thoroughly. Chop oysters and almonds. Combine them with breadcrumbs, egg, onion, parsley, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly. Drop by tablespoonfuls into crumbs. Roll to form balls. Place in a single layer in a fry basket. Fry in hot oil, 365 degrees, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Makes approximately 30 hors d’oeuvres.

To make Wallace sauce, combine 1 cup light mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon prepared mustard, and 2 teaspoons minced onion.

Note: Oyster balls may be made ahead for future use. Fry as indicated, cool, and store in vapor-proof bag or container and freeze. To heat, place frozen balls on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until heated throughout.

Anne’s Golden Oyster Stew

A creamy and hearty revision of the basic stew. This one is full of surprises!

1 quart fresh oysters, undrained
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup sliced celery
2 tablespoons margarine
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
1½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (10 ½ ounces) cream of potato soup
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimiento
¼ teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce

Remove any remaining shell particles from oysters. In large sauce pan, cook onion and celery in margarine until tender. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Over low heat, whisk flour, salt, and pepper into vegetable mixture. Add milk gradually until thickened, being careful not to boil. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add oysters, soup, pimiento, and liquid hot pepper sauce. Over low heat, cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until oysters begin to curl. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Oyster Artichoke Soup

This light broth creates a nutritional soup of oysters, artichokes, and corn.

1 pint oysters with liquid
2 tablespoons margarine
¼ cup chopped green onions
2 cloves minced garlic
½ pound sliced fresh mushrooms
5 ounces frozen corn kernels
2 cups milk
1 can (8½ ounces) drained and chopped artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 dashes liquid hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 beaten egg yolk
Pinch of grated nutmeg

Simmer oysters and liquid in a skillet for about 1 minute, until edges of oysters curl. Remove oysters and cut in half. Add margarine to oyster liquid and heat. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add corn and milk, stirring constantly. When milk begins to simmer, add chopped oysters, chopped artichokes, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper, and yolk. Be careful not to boil. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Makes 6 servings.

Oyster-Mushroom Stuffing

Lavish your imagination on a luscious creation of succulent oysters and a myriad of other ingredients — not just for holidays!

1 pint oysters
1 pound coarsely chopped mushrooms
1½ cups chopped celery with leaves
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup margarine or butter
2 cups toasted whole wheat bread cubes
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons diced pimiento
2 teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons black pepper
2 beaten eggs

Remove any remaining shell particles from oysters. Drain oysters. In a skillet, sauté mushrooms, celery, and onion in margarine until tender but not brown. Place in a large mixing bowl and stir in bread cubes, parsley, pimiento, and seasonings. Add oysters and eggs to mixture. Mix thoroughly. Makes approximately 6 cups stuffing. To serve as a side dish, place stuffing in a well-greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Oysters Casino

This unique oyster recipe is destined to become one of your most popular hors d’oeuvres.

1 pint fresh oysters
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
½ cup grated Romano cheese
1/3 cup seasoned, toasted breadcrumbs
18 one-inch squares of uncooked bacon
18 oyster shells

Arrange oyster shells in shallow, oven-proof serving dish. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach. Place one tablespoon of spinach inside each oyster shell. Top each bed of spinach with 1 large or 2 small oysters. Portion cheese evenly over oysters. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Top each with a square of bacon. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until bacon is done. Serve hot. Makes 18 hors d’oeuvres. This recipe can also be prepared without the oyster shells.

Oysters Opulent

Feature the abundance of oysters in a bubbly hot casserole. The artichokes make it a treat, but you can use sliced zucchini for economy.

1 pint fresh oysters
¼ cup margarine
1 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 sliced, hard-boiled eggs
1 can (7½ ounces) artichoke hearts, cut in half
1 can (10 ½ ounces) cream of mushroom soup
½ teaspoon salt
4 drops liquid hot pepper sauce
1 bay leaf
½ cup breadcrumbs

Drain oysters. In saucepan, melt margarine and sauté celery and onion until almost done. Add oysters and cook 2 to 3 minutes until edges curl. Stir in remaining ingredients except crumbs. Pour into casserole and top with breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until mixture is bubbly and crumbs brown, about 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings. Sauce will be thin, so hot cooked rice or toast points are good accompaniments.