It’s Oyster Grillin’ Time!

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

As I sit on my deck basking in the sweetness of a perfect spring evening, I’m about to fire up the grill for a nice dinner of Portuguese sardines, sprinkled with a bit of sea salt and grilled whole, served with a squeeze of lemon and a crusty baguette. Sounds good eh?


A first coarse of grilled oysters will make it a perfect meal on a perfect night. Grilled oysters are a favorite summertime appetizer around our house. I first grilled oysters back in the early days of our market, 1979, when an old high school buddy who had moved to California shared a recipe with me. He just placed his oysters on the grill and let them poach in their own liquor (juices). He would then shuck the top shell off and baste them with a garlic butter barbecue sauce. I tried the recipe with some nice large Bluepoints (one of a handful of oysters available in ‘79) and was amazed watching the butter sauce, mixed with the oyster’s liquor, begin to bubble and gently poach the oyster. I was drooling as the edges of the oyster began to curl and the butter sauce started to burn around the edges. From that moment on I was hooked on grilling oysters.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to oyster recipes. New Orleans style, smothered with herb butter, Cajun seasonings and topped with Parmesan or Romano cheese is rich and decadent. Or just simple herb butter is great. We’ve made Thai style with a compound butter of fish sauce, hot peppers, lime, lemongrass and cilantro that were mighty tasty. I’ve even experimented with hoisin butter and scallions that was great with giant Nurembega oysters from Maine. I always use the largest oysters in the house because the meats shrink when cooked.

grilled oysters with roasted red pepper butter

Tonight I searched the web for some new ideas and noticed a roasted red pepper butter grilled oyster recipe from B & G Oysters in Boston. I thought the subtle sauce would really let the flavor of the big beautiful onset oysters from Cape Cod shine. I added garlic to B & G’s recipe and a little sriracha sauce. I also garnished the tops of the oysters with paprika instead of mixing into the butter. The dish was beautiful and delicious (thanks B & G)!

Try any of our grilled oysters recipes or experiment on your own with any of your favorite flavors. If you want to keep it super simple, our San Remo butter is available at the market. It would be great with oysters. It’s made with sun dried tomatoes, garlic, white wine, Reggiano Parmesan and herbs. Think I’ll try that one tomorrow.

We have beautiful Onsets coming in today. Come and get ‘em! Here’s my recipe for grilled oysters with roasted red pepper butter.



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