Buy them shucked or shuck them yourself, either way fresh oysters on the half shell are great to eat and fun to serve at home. Whether you're a seasoned oyster eater looking for new ways to top these tasty bivalves or an oyster neophyte wondering how to serve these succulent treats, find easy and delicious ideas below.
Want to know more about oysters? Check out this Guide to Oyster Types.
1. Cocktail Sauce
Keep it real. Keep it traditional. Plenty of oyster lovers claim cocktail sauce overpowers the delicate flavor of oysters, but, let's face it, that's what some people are looking for!
You can buy cocktail sauce, but it's so easy to make yourself I've never understood havign that extra bottle in the cupboard or fridge: just add jarred or freshly grated horseradish to ketchup to taste.
2. Lemon Juice
It is beyond simple, but a spritz of fresh lemon juice brings out the crave-able briny flavor that makes oysters such a hit with those who love them.
3. Mignonette Sauce
Hands down, this is my favorite thing to drizzle on oysters before I eat them. It may sound fancy, but it sure is easy to make: combine a finely minced shallot with about 1/4 cup champagne vinegar and add salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Let people drizzle mignonette sauce on their own oysters, and, to follow the French tradition more fully, offer thinly sliced rye bread and fresh butter alongside.
5. Serrano Chile Lime Sauce
For those looking for a little kick and a little something different, try this twist on traditional mignonette sauce: mix a small finely minced serrano chile with 2 Tbsp. lime juice and 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, add salt to taste and finely chopped cilantro, if you like.
I felt like a culinary genius when I brought classic mignonette sauce and nuoc cham, the spicy Vietnamese sauce, together in this recipe. It's amazing on raw oysters, but also drizzled over grilled oysters.
7. Tabasco Sauce
The vinegar-y, spicy tang of Tabasco meshes well with the underlying sweetness that makes oysters so irresistible.