Oyster Stew

I’m getting ready to leave this morning on one of my occasional two-day road trips that I do for my “in real life” work. So, I know you’ll pardon me if this post if short and sweet. Won’t you?

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one that I always think of when the weather turns cold. In my opinion, late fall and the early part of winter is the time of year when fresh oysters are at their best in this area. Especially if you can get your hands on some Apalachicola Bay oysters. Small, sweet, plump, and with a mild saltwater taste, they’re simply the best oysters in the world.

When I was much younger, we’d go to a local oyster bar in town to have them raw on the half shell. Rural southern oyster bars are not fancy places. My favorite one had a screen door, a bar that would seat three folks on wooden stools and one table with four straight back wooden chairs. You’d wait your turn to sit at the bar where fresh oysters were shucked and served right in front of you. The accompaniments? Saltine crackers, hot sauce and, if you insisted, cocktail sauce. Take a shucked oyster. Place it on top of your cracker. Add a drop or two of hot sauce and inhale the whole thing in one bite. I’ve been known to down two dozen in a sitting.

Besides enjoying them in their natural, raw state they also make mighty fine eating when battered and deep fried. Or you can go a little more refined with oysters and make them into this creamy, luscious oyster stew.

Be sure to use a pint of the freshest oysters possible. Get the fish seller to hand shuck them if possible or bring them home and do that task yourself. Try to avoid the oysters in the plastic container at the grocery store. Lord only knows where they came from and how long they’ve been in that refrigerator.

Making Oyster Stew

Place all the ingredients except the milk in a saucepan.

Making Oyster Stew

Heat the mixture over medium-low heat until the edges of the oysters just begin to curl. This takes about 10 minutes and should not be rushed. Be sure to keep the heat fairly low and stir frequently.

In another saucepan, scald the milk, cream, or half-and-half. When the edges of the oysters have curled, add the scalded milk to the oyster mixture and stir well.

Serve immediately with oyster crackers and additional Tabasco if desired.


Oyster Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A creamy, rich stew with fresh Apalachicola Bay oysters.
Serves: 4 small servings
  • 1 pint fresh oysters with their liquid
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups milk, cream, or half and half
  • Oyster crackers
  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except milk. Heat over medium-low heat just until edges of oysters curl (about 10 minutes).
  2. In another saucepan, scald the milk (or cream, or half and half). Stir in to other ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately. Pass oyster crackers.
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More oyster recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:

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  1. says

    The visual I got of your description of a rural southern oyster bar is priceless. There’s an oyster bar that recently opened nearby that has oysters from all over the world and great oyster po-boys – I’ll have to ask them about Apalachicolas.

  2. says

    Caught you in my feed again Lana – must be a reason this keeps happening because I rarely have time to even look at it much any more! So funny.

    My FIL shucks full sacks at a time & always sends some over. I have a Mason jar of them in the fridge right now he just sent over, along with his fabulous stew! There is absolutely nothing like sweet oysters right out of our Gulf, freshly shucked and they are really good this year. People who’ve never had them just have no idea!! I love oyster stew too & make mine the same way Mama used to make it for Daddy, not too different from this. He and I were the only oyster lovers in the house & I didn’t even start out that way. I used to sit out in the garage with Daddy when he would shuck a sack & had to be convinced. Can’t even say how many trays of oysters I’ve eaten in my lifetime now though!!

    • says

      How lucky are you to have someone who shucks them for you! I can do it, but it takes me forever. I’ve seen people shucking oysters so fast you can hardly see their hands moving. Those folks have been shucking for a loooong time. I need more practice. :-)

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