I always thought that oysters were only worth eating when they were small, 2 1/2 to 3 inches being ideal, and served raw on the half shell. But these are not always easy to find at your local market. At a summer barbecue a couple of years ago, a friend of mine brought a couple dozen very large oysters. At first I was disappointed by the size and not too thrilled about the idea of choking one down on that hot summer day. So instead of shucking them and eating them raw we decided to put them on a very hot grill and once open we ate them with this simple butter sauce. They were delicious and now are one of my favorite summer treats.
To get started you will need to gather the following ingredients:
12 large oysters, live and very fresh
2 sticks salted butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon green curry paste
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
First, clean and preheat your grill on high. While the grill is heating, slowly melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Chop the cilantro and cut your limes into small wedges. When the butter is melted add half the cilantro, lime juice, curry paste and fish sauce (if using) and whisk to combine. Set on back of your stove; do not refrigerate.
Now that your grill is very hot, place all oysters flat side up directly on lowest grate and close the lid. Depending upon the freshness of the oysters and the temperature of the grill, cooking times will vary, so keep an eye on them. Also, be very careful when cooking oysters this way because they may pop when opening and they can shoot shell in all directions, trust me. When all of them have opened, remove from heat. If one or two have not opened discard them but if more than six are still closed, remove the opened ones and give the last few a couple more minutes.
Now, using a dull knife or an oyster knife if you have one, carefully pry off the top shell and arrange on a large platter large enough for them to be in a single layer. At this point I like to garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve with the lime butter and the fresh lime wedges. Enjoy!
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