Nowadays, raw oysters are practically compulsory for any gastropub or wine bar and for a good reason. These briny bivalves are fun to eat and packed with nutrients.
If the oysters are fresh, you really don’t need much to enjoy them. Horseradish, lemon juice, and tabasco are all great options. Still, my favorite preparation is to mix up a ginger-lime mignonette — a riff on the traditional french sauce made up of shallots and vinegar.
The ginger-lime mignonette sauce comes together in just minutes. It adds a beautiful compliment to the briny oysters and their liquor (the natural juice inside the shell). I add in a little minced serrano pepper for a touch of heat.
Raw oysters are also phenomenally versatile and pair well with all sorts of beer and wine. Choose a buttery chardonnay or a minerally Pigato or Vermentino. Prosecco and cava are classic bubbly options but don’t discount a crisp rose on a hot summer night.
Shuck. Slurp. Repeat.
Unsure how to shuck an oyster? No problem. With a few tools and a little practice, you’ll be popping shells in no time.
First, grab yourself an oyster knife and a kitchen towel. These short, thick blades are perfect for prying open oysters and separating the meat from the shell. Here are two of my favorite oyster knives. Or, if you’re in the market for a whole kit that includes a knife and cloth.
Hold the oyster with a towel in one hand with the “cup” side down and the hinge facing out. The hinge is the knobby end where the shell is joined together.
- A few hours before: Prepare the mignonette sauce and refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Before serving: Shuck the oysters, spoon the mignonette on top, and serve on a bed of crushed ice.
Raw Oysters with Ginger-Lime Mignonette
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 12 oysters, shucked
- Stir together the lime juice, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and pepper in a small bowl. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors combine. Spoon over the oysters and serve on crushed iced.
- A few hours before: Prepare the mignonette sauce and refrigerate in an airtight container
- Just before serving: Shuck the oysters, spoon the mignonette on top, and serve on a bed of crushed ice.