published Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Oysters on the grill are a fine start to summer

Grilled oysters with fermented black beans and chili garlic.
Grilled oysters with fermented black beans and chili garlic.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Of the many delicious things you’ve tossed on the grill over the years, it’s a relatively safe bet that many of you never thought of adding oysters to the grilled menu.

But the experience of this simple raw bar treat can be elevated by the application of a few flames. At the recent South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami Beach, a rooftop oyster outing, numerous chefs were offering up grilled oysters fresh off the flames.

One variation topped the oyster with a thick slab of chorizo and manchego cheese. Hung Huynh, the chef at Catch Miami and winner of the third season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” topped the oysters with a sauce that was deeply savory and had just a bit of heat from jalapenos. It would make a fantastic starter for a cookout kicking off summer.

Grilled Oysters With Miso Black Beans And Chili Garlic

3 dozen oysters

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons chopped canned black beans

2 teaspoons dark miso

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon minced Peppadew peppers

1 tablespoon minced jalapeno peppers

1 tablespoon sliced scallions

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup sake

1/4 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon, divided

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a small skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until lightly smoking. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ginger, then sauté for another minute. Add the black beans, miso, red onion, Peppadews, jalapenos, scallions and cilantro. Sauté for 1 minute, then stir in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, sake, 1/4 cup of water and orange juice. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small glass, stir together the cornstarch and remaining 1 tablespoon of water. Stir into the sauce and cook, stirring, for another minute. The sauce will be very thick and chunky. Set aside.

Heat the grill to high.

Shuck the oysters, pouring off any extra juice and leaving the oyster in the bottom half of the shell. Top each oyster with 1 teaspoon of the sauce. Set the oysters directly on the grill grates and cook for about 30 seconds, or until just barely heated. Use tongs to carefully transfer the oysters (the shells will be hot) to a platter. Serve immediately.

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