The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
Profile photo of steamykitchen


Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Oysters. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

My younger son, Nathan, who is 5 years old, absolutely loves oysters. Now honestly, I don’t know if he really enjoyed the taste of oysters or if it was the crowd of adults clapping and congratulating my little tot for being brave enough to down the oyster on his very first try a year ago. Brave little boy, he was, and it had nothing to do with me telling him that it tastes just like potato chips.

Most people have a preference for either raw, fried or grilled oysters. The people who love raw oysters will *sometimes* like them grilled, but the people who like grilled or fried oysters don’t enjoy it raw.

And I’m saying this as if I have such authority on the subject oysters, when in reality, I just merely questioned my neighborhood friends, i.e. 3 people.

My favorite is raw, super chilled, and served with a tangy, light mignonette. There’ll absolutely be no cocktail sauce nor horseradish touching my oysters (which serves to merely mask the oysters’ delicate seawater flavors). Sometimes, just really good sea salt and a squeeze of lemon is all I need.

I love playing with the mignonette … errr … vinaigrette for the oysters. I think technically, a mignonette is made of red wine vinegar and shallots. But I love using an Asian rice vinegar and adding some grated fresh ginger with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Oysters. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

For the perfect oyster “mignonette,” I think a mixture of tangy, salty, and slightly sweet works really well. In the above photo, I used tart green apples (finely minced), white wine vinegar, minced cilantro and minced jalapeno, a touch of salt and a touch of sugar.

But enough about raw oysters, let’s talk about fried! When I fry oysters, I love using Zatarain’s Fish Fry seasoning and using my cast iron pot to fry the oysters.

And grilled? Absolutely divine. I made these grilled oysters a few months ago, right after getting back from FoodBuzz Food Blogger Festival in San Francisco. The first night consisted of a festival of street cart food, and one of the vendors was Hog Island Oyster Company. The shucker must have gone through about 1000 oysters that night, poor thing, and I think I stood by his cart for about two hours straight, eating 100 or so myself.

He gave me a recipe for their famous Hog Island Grilled Oysters, and you’ll find the recipe on Elise’s Simply Recipes blog. And, yes the oysters are sitting on a bed of raw rice, only because I ran out of rock salt! The rice worked beautifully.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Oysters. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

So I think I’m an anomaly; I love my oysters every which way—raw, fried and grilled—though my favorite is freshly shucked raw oysters that make feel as if I’m standing knee-deep in the crashing waves with my arms wide open and yelling “IIIII—–LOOOOVVVE—-TOOOO—-EAAAAAAT—OY-OY-OYYYYYSTERSSS!!!”

How about you? Raw, fried or grilled? (Or NOT?)


Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes in her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!



Comments are closed for this recipe.

Gretchen on 6.18.2010

Mmmmmm, fried, grilled, etc…

My favorite though is oyster stew, you cook them in their juices with butter, and then just before they’re done, pour in whole milk groud pepper, couple shakes of tabasco. My family’s done that for Christmas Eve since I can remember. The flavor is perfect, pure oyster, and the broth so rich… Mmmmm, how many more days until Christmas?

kc192 on 5.19.2010

Ugh. I’m not a picky eater but i’ve never been able swallow something that looks like a giant booger and smells like seaweed! Sorry!

Ada on 5.12.2010

Had my first raw one at the Chesapeake at four years old, and loved it! Now 76 years later I’ve tried them all over the world, and they are great. Except in Tijuana, BC, where they come out of the dirty river. Bla! I prefer the smaller oysters I had in Florida at Molly Goodheads. Raw, broiled, in stew, poboys, etc… I’m game to try them anyway at all.

Shelley-Bob on 5.10.2010

Raw is my favorite. Haven’t had them any other way, when I get the chance I always order them on the half shell. Actually tried oyster dressing one time…didn’t like that but ALL the other ways look fabulous. I even like Rocky Mountain Oysters (completely different creature HA!) But we live 40 miles southeast of Kansas City…don’t get too much good seafood here. I’m totally jealous of you all that live close to good seafood!!!!!

Profile photo of hulatutu

hulatutu on 5.10.2010

The 2 types of shellfish I won’t eat are lobster and oysters, but my granddaughter started eating both when she was 7 years old and truly enjoys them! She eats the oysters grilled on the bbq, hasn’t eaten them raw but wouldn’t surprise me if she gave it a try.

Doodlebug (aka Amy) on 5.9.2010

I love them raw! My grandparents lived on Cape Cod and my Grampie would go oystering on December 23rd every year. It is a tradition in my family to eat raw oysters on Christmas Eve. I like a little lemon sqeezed over them or nothing at all. Yummmm…think I’ll be getting some raw oysters this week!

Tish on 5.7.2010

I love all shellfish – but I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never had raw oysters. I’m sure it would be good but I’m now wondering if my palate has been ruined by all the fried oysters I’ve had! Hmmm…guess I’ll have to find out!

Profile photo of Jerseycook

Jerseycook on 5.7.2010

Definitely raw. Straight from the ocean. The fried ones just taste like oil to me. I’ve never had them grilled – maybe I’ll try it out!

Ivy on 5.7.2010

And when it comes to eating them raw, I love Kumamoto oysters. Something about their small, delicate size and taste.

Oh… and I have to add: My husband swore up and down that he hates oysters when I first met him. Considering his first and only experience with them thus far had been deep fried in a diner somewhere in Idaho, I’m not too surprised. I’ve since convinced him to try some raw oysters here in Seattle and he’s changed his stance now. :)

Ivy on 5.7.2010

I will take them any way, but prefer raw. Haven’t tried grilled, yet, though. May have to give it a go.

Profile photo of MS Hospitality

MS Hospitality on 5.7.2010

Here is the link to MS Hospitality’s Infamous Chicken and Oyster Gumbo.

Profile photo of MS Hospitality

MS Hospitality on 5.7.2010

I love oysters. Raw is my favorite with just a hint of fresh lemon juice. Try my Chicken and Oyster Gumbo on Tasty Kitchen. It is a keeper recipe!

rollingstonemom on 5.7.2010

I LOVE raw oysters. Please, please do not cook any oyster you want me to eat. (I’ve never had grilled oysters) The texture does me in!

LeAnn on 5.7.2010

Not. I tried a raw oyster when I was 12 or 13. No one told me I wasn’t supposed to chew it. Spent the next 1/2 hour in the ladies room. Yuk!

Amy (Minimally Invasive) on 5.7.2010

I’ve never met an oyster I didn’ t like. They might not have always liked me, but I’m the forgiving type and tend to overlook that.

Paula on 5.7.2010

what a awesome photos! I love this!

Mel C on 5.7.2010

Raw! I live in New Orleans and we definitely have THE BEST raw oysters. I’m actually having some tomorrow to celebrate being done with law school…along with a big pitcher of abita strawberry!

Mel G on 5.6.2010

Oysters?? BLECH!!! I’ll never understand how anyone can enjoy eating something that has the texture of something that comes out ones nostril :(

Prawns (shrimp?) on the other hand….. I think I’d just about walk over hot coals for those. And I’d definitely be standing by the cart eating!!

elaine on 5.6.2010

Jaden, thanks for a great minnionette. Married to a frenchman and his family, I have watched them eat many many raw ones. I am not a big fan. the family joke is I am “up to 5″ on the major holidays. That is with the traditional – wine vinegar, shallots and parsely. bleh.. i have major texture issues where the O is concerned. I ate 5 this last NYE and they (3 of them) ate the other 139 of them. is that not just gross? I am going to make your recipe for this minnionette… cilantro is like catnip for me so maybe this will be the one thing that turns me into an O lover :)…. I hope so… I am totally the outcast eating my peel and eat … So tx!

sarah on 5.6.2010

yummy!!! a local restaurant makes the best char-grilled oysters!!

Susie on 5.6.2010

I love oysters! My family makes oyster dressing every year for Thanksgiving (and Christmas if I bug my mom enough). Yum!

There’s a restaurant here in Indianapolis that serves an AWESOME oyster po-boy. (Great! Now I want one and it’s 11:30p.m. LOL)

Is there a wrong way to have oysters? I think not! (Though my guy and his entire family disagrees and thinks I’m “weird” for eating “gross” stuff. Meh…they don’t know what they’re missing!)

Profile photo of lauralop

lauralop on 5.6.2010

i didn’t think that i liked them, but when i was in australia my friend convinced me to try them, and i fell madly in love. definitely raw. but i have to be in a place where i trust them not to poison me!

Profile photo of dacook

dacook on 5.6.2010

Love them raw but, will eat them raw, grilled, fried or cooked in gumbos!

Joy Jaramillo on 5.6.2010

I love raw oysters. And don’t like them fried at all! I’ve never tried grilled, so can’t say on that. I like them with a dash of salt and some lemon juice on a saltine cracker. Delicious! Mmm!

Profile photo of Aryannasmama

Aryannasmama on 5.6.2010

I’ll take them any way I can get them. I love oysters!!

Judy H on 5.6.2010

I love oysters raw, fried or grilled as well! And raw without red/cocktail sauce! Just give me some lemon!

Becky in Indiana on 5.6.2010

No Thanks, not for me. :(

Profile photo of elise1mds

elise1mds on 5.6.2010

Yes. Though DH won’t touch ‘em with a 100-foot pole.

Tiara on 5.6.2010

I love them raw but will eat them grilled as long as they aren’t too huge! Ivar’s does great oyster shooters with vodka! It’s an oyster in a shot glass with or with out a touch of horseradish cocktail sauce then filled with vodka and a lime wedge on the side. Very tasty!

Also great grilled on the halfshell with tiger sauce!

Sue, Vancouver, BC, Canada on 5.6.2010

I just started to finally eat Oysters in the last couple of years..and I LOVE them. I just like the smaller ones but learning to eat the slightly larger ones now. Like youself I like the vinegar and shallot…will have to try your style :-).
I hate to think of the years of oyster eating that I have missed out one. There is nothing so fresh…and they all taste different…amazing!

Cindy on 5.6.2010

Love them any way I can get ‘em! Blame my daddy – he paid me $1 to eat one when I was 7 years old and I was hooked!

Nita on 5.6.2010

We had 30 pounds of oysters on the grill Monday for supper. With garlic butter. Yummmmmm.

Dawn (KitchenTravels) on 5.6.2010

My favorites are raw oysters – as long as they are good and fresh, naturally. Just delicious. But I also love them grilled, with just a little garlic butter. There used to be a vendor at San Francisco’s Fillmore Street Fair who always had incredible grilled oysters on offer. A little innocent flirting always got me an extra oyster or two. I’m not above using my feminine wiles to garner roasted oysters. ;)

Profile photo of zoedawn

zoedawn on 5.6.2010

Ugh, they taste like river mud to me. I only had them once but I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to try them again.

Rebecca on 5.6.2010

Raw. But strangely cannot bring myself to try them any other way. I think I could try grilled, but fried just seems like a waster of calories/oysters.

Katieb on 5.6.2010

NOT. but maybe i should try them again…hmm.

Profile photo of veysternator

veysternator on 5.6.2010

Disagree- raw oysters are delicious. Chargrilled oysters from Drago’s in Metairie are delicious. Fried oysters are delicious. Oysters in any variety (except doused in crude oil) are delicious.

Ernise on 5.6.2010

Grilled or Fried!

No raw oysters for me.

Andrea C. on 5.6.2010

i go raw or fried, i love both equally, a lot! My family is from southern Maryland where there are lots of yummy Oysters, we eat them at Thanksgiving dinner even :)

Joan C on 5.6.2010

I love small Olympia oysters crisply fried…remind me of my childhood, I think. But the way I prepare them most often is the Oysters Dunbar appetizer that I posted some time ago. We first had this at Corrinne Dunbar’s restaurant in New Orleans (and every time we went there thereafter). I’ve never seen their actual recipe, this is my version that I’ve played with until I think it is almost a replication.

When we lived in N. O., it was always dangerous to the pocketbook to take my older son, who was about 10 or 11, to the Oyster Bar with us…he loved them raw or anyway he could lay hands on them.

Profile photo of bracesfornow109

bracesfornow109 on 5.6.2010

They all look fantastic! But I’ve never had them on the half shell so if I were to try any I would like them grilled.

Cindy on 5.6.2010

Grilled with cilantro pesto..Yummy!. I can’t get over the hump to eat the raw ones.Fried are good too.

Dancing Shoes on 5.6.2010

I like mine grilled, fried and in oyster stew but not raw!

Profile photo of sweetebakes

sweetebakes on 5.6.2010

I’m a sucker for a good batch of grilled oysters. I must admit I like em fried too :)

Ambry on 5.6.2010

Barbecue-fried! From Red Fish Grill in New Orleans. Absolutely fabulously amazing. Could eat them everyday for the rest of eternity.
Or, in a homemade spinach oyster bisque a friend/boss used to serve in his restaurant. To die for.

Profile photo of Pam P

Pam P on 5.6.2010

I have oyster jealousy. I watch people eating them; I see the joy on their faces; hear the moans of pleasure; and I want that! I want to feel and experience all of that.

Instead I slip one of the gooey, slimy things into my mouth and it doesn’t matter if it’s Po’ Boys, Rockefeller, or on the half shell, I just do not like it. It shames me as a foodie that I can’t like them, but I have learned to live with my distress.

How about some sweetbreads or liver? I’m all over that! :)

Loraine on 5.6.2010

Love oysters any kind of way, but raw is my favorite.

Darcie on 5.6.2010

Oysters Rockefeller all the way. But, they are broiled. Would like to try grilled. Not a fan of raw or fried.
Now, drooling.

Mrs. Morgan on 5.6.2010

That’s what we call Raw Oyters…yum!

Profile photo of shellsonvancouverisland

shellsonvancouverisland on 5.6.2010

I live in an area surrounded by oyster farms .. nothing better than going to the shack and getting a bag of oysters straight out of the ocean!! I love them grilled and I do not like them with any strongly flavoured sauces or condiments, I like to be able to taste the oyster.

I lived in Alabama for a year a long time ago and experienced raw ones for the first time in my life but they were served with hot sauce and I got turned off by the hot sauce , not the raw oysters.

Going to check out the site you gave.