Grilled oysters in smoky spiced garlic butter - Halen Môn

Grilled oysters in smoky spiced garlic butter

by | Jul 20, 2023



  • 75g butter, softened

  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated

  • Finely grated zest and juice of . lemon

  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tsp Pure Sea Salt Smoked over Oak

  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce

  • 12 rock oysters

  • Small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and chopped

  • Lemon wedges, to serve



    Menai oysters are grown right in front of our Saltcote at Halen Môn – the raw seawater is an incredible resource. You can do the prep earlier then it’s quick, easy (and impressive) to cook and serve.

    Your guests will automatically gravitate towards the chef and are almost guaranteed to impatiently burn themselves on the hot shells and molten butter, so please be careful!

    The hardest part of this dish is to find something to serve the oysters on. Rock oysters have an irregular cupped shell and when they come off the barbecue, they will be scalding hot and filled with bubbling butter. We have found the best thing is an old griddle pan but we have also used seaweed (when feeling fancy), pebbles or egg boxes (when desperate).

    Mix the soften butter, cheese, garlic, lemon zest and juice, paprika, cayenne, salt and hot sauce together in a large bowl. Use a fork to work it into a smooth mixture. Empty the bowl onto a piece of clingfilm, big enough to hold the butter, then roll it into an even sausage shape about 2cm/.in thick. Chill until ready for cooking.

    Opening oysters can be tricky – even trickier after a few drinks by the barbecue with lots of people watching you, so open the oysters just before your guests arrive and make sure the oyster is completely detached from the shell to help with eating later. If you have not done this before, ask your fishmonger to show you (and refresh your memory with tutorials available online once you get home). You will need an oyster knife to do this at home.

    Remove the grill from the barbecue and light. Get your charcoal to the point where you cannot hold your hand over the heat for more than 10 seconds. Place the shucked oysters, cup-shell down, on the cold grill. You need to be careful to get them to remain upright so they don’t spill their contents and add a 1cm/.in disc of the flavoured butter to each oyster. Very carefully lower the laden grill on to the barbecue. Depending on the heat, it will take 3–6 minutes before the butter is bubbling and this means the oyster is poached to perfection. Using tongs, move each oyster to a serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley and a dusting of paprika and serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread.

    Thanks to Liz + Max Haarala Hamilton  + White Lion publishing for sharing the recipe and pics from our book Sea Salt.


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