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Grilled Oysters with Fennel Butter

Be extra careful when lifting the grill cover, as the oyster shells can pop from the intense heat. Partially cooked oysters are easy to pry open, but use oven mitts when handling them; the shells get very hot.

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slideshow Amazing Seafood Recipes

  • Servings: 8

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  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced fennel fronds or parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 medium oysters


  1. Light a grill or preheat the oven to 500°. In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool. Pound the seeds to a coarse powder in a mortar. In a bowl, blend the butter with the ground fennel seeds, shallots, fennel fronds, pepper and salt.
  2. Arrange the oysters on the grill, cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, just until they start hissing and releasing their juices but are not wide open. Transfer the oysters to a large baking sheet. Alternatively, arrange the oysters on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, until they start hissing.
  3. Using an oyster knife, pry each oyster open at the hinge, loosen the oyster and discard the flat shell. Top each oyster with 1/2 teaspoon of the fennel butter and serve hot.

Make Ahead

The fennel butter can be frozen for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.

Serve With

Toast points spread with some of the fennel butter.

Contributed By Published November 1998

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