5 Ways to Enjoy Your North Carolina Oysters
It’s that time of year: oyster season.
The summer is seriously over, waters are getting cooler, and the holiday season is drawing near. I may be partial, but personally I think North Carolina has some of the best oysters. These salty shell fish offer a great source of protein and vitamins – and better yet, they are low in fat!
So, what are 5 ways to enjoy your North Carolina oysters? Here are some of the different options to eat these delicious salty aphrodisiacs. Of course, one of the best ways to eat your fill of the little briny mollusks is raw, with a little splash of lemon juice, a dash of hot sauce, and a sprinkle of horseradish.
Not everyone can handle the texture of an oyster, or eat it in its raw state. Don’t let that dissuade you from trying some of North Carolina’s best!
Below I have listed some great ways to eat your oyster.
1. Grill them up!
Shuck open your oyster shell and you have dozens of options for filling up half of the shell. Try butter, a little parmesan cheese, garlic, chives, hot sauce, or herbs. Create a combination of these for a simple signature dish. The options are endless! The slight charred taste from grilling oysters adds a smokiness to perfect your dish.
2. Fry them!
Fry your oysters up and you can simply snack on a crispy hot treat. Or, layer your fried oysters on a French baguette, with a homemade remoulade sauce, lettuce and tomato! Who doesn’t love a good Southern staple, the oyster po’boy.
3. Poach them!
With this method, you will want to use a little water mixed with lemon juice, wine or fish stock, and a little chopped onion or chives. Add some additional herbs to the liquid, and this gives you great flavor. This method of cooking keeps the oysters’ texture close to its natural state.
This is a very similar method to grilling. Start by scrubbing up your oysters. Put some salt on the bottom of a roasting pan and then bake until the shells just begin to open. Add some delicious pesto sauce, butter herb marinade, or any of your favorite sauces. The oyster will just melt in your mouth! Make sure to not bake it too long as you don’t want them to chewy.
5. And of course, another great option is to make a tasty oyster stew!
You can make a cream-based stew, or keep it lower in fat and go for a tomato base. Try a recipe for Manhattan clam chowder, but substitute with oysters, and top with some salty oyster crackers. What better dish to compliment the fall and winter season?
No matter how you like to eat your oyster, it’s time to get out there and explore recipes, support our local fisherman and seafood markets. Enjoy the short few months we have for oysters. Before you know it, oyster season will be gone until next year!
When you are shopping for oysters, look for Sarah’s favorite North Carolina oysters: Pamlico Sound, Stump Sound, and Topsail
Contributing blogger: Sarah Koob is a foodie, home cook, and lover of seafood, bloody marys, and any kind of food adventure.