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Ervin & Betty Shaw's Oyster Stew

What's needed:

  • 1 pint packed (approximately 16 ounces or 473 grams) small to medium-sized raw shucked oysters with their liquor (container juice). Alternatively, let half or even all be canned oysters...from a grocery store such as Publix or even from Wal-Mart.
  • a slice ("pat") or two of stick margarine. [alternatively, a "pat" of real butter]
  • 2 cups whole milk. [alternatively, as little as one or 1.5 cups]
  • (optional)1 or 2 dashes of Tabasco hot sauce, or Texas Pete hot sauce, or Sriracha hot chili sauce, or a pinch of French's ground red pepper or pinch cayenne pepper.
  • 1 to 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
  • dash celery salt & dash or two Old Bay seasoning.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1/2 cup oyster crackers. [you'll want to have the bag/box close by for more when eat the stew]
  • a large (1 to 1 1/2 quart) soup pot for heating milk & seasoning.


To avoid oysters being tough due to overcooking, remove the shell-muscle area of fresh oysters (not necessary for canned); combine these muscles & the liquor in a blender; to enhance the oyster-taste, add 1-6 whole fresh oysters (you can just mash the canned ones); & puree these fresh oyster parts plus liquor. Add the milk and add the puree and warm...low-heat (get it hot but do not NOT boil). Add seasonings (4-7 above), stir in well, add crackers and continue heating 10-15 minutes.Serve in warm soup bowls (makes at least 4 servings).

NOTES: The amount of oysters used may be varied according to your taste (from 8-24 ounces). The oval, thick, soft body of the oyster contains the liver & digestive organs & the strongest "taste". More than a single oyster pureed will significantly increases the strength of oyster taste in the stew. Minced parsley can "green" the stew surface. Sautéed sliced chives or sliced green onions can also "green" and add onion taste. Half of the above recipe will be enough for small-volume appetites! This recipe produces all of the meal Betty & I, retirees, can eat. We do not have other items with this meal (we eat oyster stew only for the meal).

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(posted 23 December 2010; updated 13 October 2014)