From Raw to Rockefeller: 9 Essential Oyster Preparations

Versatile oysters lend themselves to being served in a variety of tasty ways.

Grilled Oysters with Chorizo Butter
Photo: © Cedric Angeles

Oysters are much more versatile than you think. While the plump, briny bivalves are, of course, spectacular served raw with a squeeze of lemon, they are also great for grilling, frying, stirring into creamy chowder — you get the picture. Whether you're a longtime oyster enthusiast or only just now starting to appreciate the mollusk's deliciousness, here are nine essential oyster preparations to try.

Raw oysters

Oysters on the Half Shell with Rosé Mignonette. Photo © Michael Turek
© Michael Turek

Freshly shucked by you or a pro, there's nothing like a raw oyster. It's the best way to experience the nuances of each different type. Try serving them at home with a few slices of lemon and a beautiful mignonette made with sparkling rosé.

Fried oysters

Pan-Fried Oysters with Creamy Radish and Cucumber Salad
© John Kernick

Like most foods, oysters are incredible when fried. While you can technically fry any type, giant, creamy Gulf Coast oysters are some of the best. Try them in a po' boy or serve them as a crispy appetizer with creamy radish and cucumber salad.

Grilled oysters

Grilled Oysters with Chorizo Butter
© Cedric Angeles

This is a super-easy way to include oysters in your next cookout. All you have to do is throw them directly on the grill, then, when the shells start to pop open, quickly shuck the tops off. They're fantastic just like that, but they're also great with smoky, tangy chorizo butter.

Oysters Rockefeller

oysters Rockefeller
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

First created at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans in 1899, this famous baked oyster dish was named for the Rockefeller family because of its incredibly rich sauce. Try making it at home with star chef Emeril Lagasse's expert recipe.

Oyster chowder

Smoky Oyster Chowder with Bacon, Rosemary and Fennel
© Marcus Nilsson

On a chilly day, a bowl of ultra-hearty, very creamy oyster chowder is just the thing. This amazing recipe includes chunky potatoes and smoky, meaty bacon.

Oyster pan roast

Clam-and-Oyster Pan Roast
© Christina Holmes

A classic oyster pan roast has nothing to do with roasting. Instead, it refers to a particular pan that NYC's Grand Central Oyster Bar uses for this classic dish. Chef Vivian Howard makes her take on the restaurant's signature soup with clams as well as oysters.

Poached oysters

Poached Oysters with Pickled Cucumber and Caviar
© John Kernick

Chef Stephen Harris poaches oysters in their own liquor before putting them back in the shells and topping with creamy beurre blanc, tangy pickled cucumber, and briny caviar.

Oyster casserole

Oyster Casserole with Cracker Crumbs
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

Tender, juicy oysters drizzled with a bit of cream and hot sauce, then baked in a sumptuous, buttery crumb mixture make for a great appetizer or side dish.

Oyster dip

Oyster Tartare Sauce with Potato Chips
© Michael Turek

To make a simple, briny dipping sauce, Chef René Redzepi purees raw oysters with a little of their liquor, plus rice vinegar and oil. He adds diced blanched vegetables for texture.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles