Easy Oyster Stew

Oyster stew
Photo by Penny de los Santos

Oysters are abundant and affordable in Seattle, and this recipe is a family favorite. Small, sweet Pacific Northwest oysters are perfect here. Larger, brinier East Coast oysters might overwhelm the delicate broth.

How to Shuck and Cook Oysters
  • 16 West Coast oysters
  • Bottled clam juice (if needed)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste

Shuck oysters. Strain liquor to remove grit. If necessary, add clam juice to liquor to increase volume to ½ cup.

Heat butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add celery and shallot. Cook until tender, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add half-and-half and oyster liquor. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes, but don’t let boil. Transfer to blender. Purée mixture, and strain back into pot. Add oysters and heat just until edges curl, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serves 2.

Pair It

Oak-aged Chardonnay is a natural with cream-based soups. A selection from Chile’s Limarí Valley will exhibit both richness and bright acidity, with an almost briny minerality that goes beautifully with oysters.

Published on September 19, 2018
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net

The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories