Culinary Pearls on National Oyster Day

Celebrate National Oyster Day with new flavors.

Photo by Christopher Testani

Apple Mignonette

Apple Mignonette

National Oyster Day is today and for those of you with work-from-home time in your schedule this year is the perfect opportunity to try some new oyster recipes. With the help of great chefs from all over Virginia, here are some interesting oyster recipes to make at home.

Photo by Fred + Elliott

Tangier Oysters with Green Apple, Cucumber, Yuzu, Fennel and Tapioca Pearls

Tangier Oysters with Green Apple, Cucumber, Yuzu, Fennel and Tapioca Pearls

From Andrew Manning at Longoven

  • 1 green apple, juiced
  • 1 English cucumber, juiced
  • 1 cup yuzu juice
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum salt
  • 2 quarts fennel stock
  • 1 ½ cups tapioca pearls
  • 1 dozen Tangier oysters, cleaned and shucked 
  • micro shiso or basil

Combine the juices of the apple and cucumber with the yuzu in a blender on low speed. Add xanthan gum and salt to taste. Allow the xanthan to hydrate for 2 minutes, then adjust salt if necessary. Remove from blender, strain and keep in a container on ice. Bring fennel stock to a slow simmer and season well with salt. Pour in tapioca pearls and whisk slowly until there is a pin-sized white center in the pearls, about 10 minutes. Remove tapioca pearls with a strainer and rinse under cool water. Marinate the tapioca pearls in some of the juice mixture, reserving the rest.

To assemble, pour the juice mixture over the oyster to fill half way up the shell. Top the oyster with a small spoonful of tapioca pearls and garnish with micro shiso or basil.

Serves 6-8

Photo by Fred + Elliott

fried oysters

Fried oysters with tomato onion slaw and green chili purée

Fried Oysters with Tomato Onion Slaw and Green Chili Purée

From Tom Power at Fat Canary

  • For the tomato onion slaw:
  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper

Quarter tomato and cut away insides. Slice remaining sections into thin strips. Toss tomatoes together with onion and cilantro. Combine lime juice, vinegar, honey and salt, mix well and add to tomato mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

For the green chili purée:

  • Canola Oil
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • Salt

In a sauté pan over high heat, add a small amount of oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add poblanos and, tossing occasionally, cook until fragrant and blackened in spots. In a blender, purée poblanos until smooth, adding a small amount of water if necessary. Season with salt.

For the butter sauce:

  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 8 ounces butter, cubed
  • Salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce white wine and shallot. When the wine is almost entirely reduced, lower the heat and whisk butter cubes into the pan, one piece at a time. After all the butter is added and smooth, season with salt to taste. 

For the fried oysters:

  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 quart canola oil
  • 24 Rappahannock oysters, shucked

Whisk together dry ingredients. In a large pot, heat oil to 350 degrees. Dredge oysters in the dry mixture and shake off excess. Drop oysters in the oil, working in batches if necessary. Fry until crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble, spoon tomato onion slaw onto a plate, top with a fried oyster and drizzle with green chili purée and butter sauce.

Serves 8-10

Apple Mignonette 

From Chef Jeff Farmer at Lucky Restaurant 

  • 2 cups Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 Ginger Gold apples (or any tart apple)
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 tablespoons mixed peppercorns
  • pinch of sea salt
  • zest of one lemon

In a mixing bowl combine Champagne vinegar and whisk olive oil until emulsified. Add minced shallots and finely diced apples. Zest in lemon. Take peppercorns and coarsely chop in a spice grinder. Sift the pepper, reserving only the larger pieces and add to mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt, bearing in mind you want your mignonette to complement, not compete with the oysters. 

Chill the mignonette for two to four days before serving. Serve on the side of raw oysters using only ½ to a ¼ of a teaspoon per oyster. 

Serves 8

Oyster Stew

From Bryan Byrd at Byrd’s Seafood Co. 

  • 2 cups sweet vidalia onions, chopped
  • ½ pound freshly sliced Red Eye country ham, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 quart fresh wild caught Rappahannock River oysters, shucked
  • ½ gallon half and half
  • 2 cups freshly cooked collard greens (or one 16-ounce can pre-cooked)
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper

Sauté the onions and ham in olive oil until the onions are translucent, then set aside. Melt butter slowly in a large dutch oven or saucepan. Add the oysters and cook until the edges start to curl. As the oysters are cooking, slowly add the half and half, stirring lightly. Add the collard greens, ham and onions. Add sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Serves 4

Photo by Bryan Byrd

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