Oyster Stew Recipe

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Oyster Stew Recipe

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

There are some who think that cooking oysters at all is an act of culinary sacrilege. And as much as I love a dozen (or two) on the half shell, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy a poached, fried or roasted oyster just as much. This stew is a close relative of the Manhattan-style clam chowder; it uses a tomato base and a good assortment of vegetables as well as fish stock. The oysters and their liquor are dropped in the stew at the moment you turn off the heat, to ensure that they don't get overcooked. The result is plump oysters and a satisfying bowl of stew.

For the best results I recommend shucking your own oysters. I know shucking two dozen oysters seems like a lot of prep for stew, but preshucked oysters often have an unpleasant coppery flavor. To be on the safe side it's best to shuck them yourself, unless you have a really great relationship with your fishmonger (in which case, you might get away with having them do the shucking for you).

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour


  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 32 ounce fish stock
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 24 oysters, shucked
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • lemon slices, optional


  1. 1.

    Heat a good drizzle of oil in a large pot. When shimmering add onions, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until wilted. Add bay leaf, thyme, parsley, fish stock, and canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer; cook for about 15 minutes until vegetables are soft. Turn off heat and add oysters and oyster liquor. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.