Langdon Cook shows us how to barbecue oysters and talks about his book, Upstream.
A writer, instructor, and lecturer on wild foods and the outdoors, Langdon has been nominated for a James Beard Award and a Pushcart Prize. He is a contributor for Seattle Magazine.
Ellie's Barbecued Oysters
Winter is a great time to fire up a barbecue with hand-warming coals to grill a mess of oysters. Years ago, the late seafood evangelist Jon Rowley introduced me to John Adams, the third-generation owner of Sound Fresh Clams & Oysters, based near Shelton, on the South Sound. John and I now teach shellfish foraging and cooking classes together, and this recipe (invented by his daughter Ellie) is a mainstay of our classes, especially on those wet and blustery days typical of winter and early spring. Note: If you're picking oysters on a public beach, you'll need to bring your own shells; I keep a Tupperware filled with oyster shells just for this purpose.
1 dozen medium-size oysters, shucked on the half-shell
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced toasted sesame seeds for garnish
1 In a bowl, mix together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, sesame oil and sliced green onions.
2 Place shucked oysters (still in the shell) on grit, preferably over a bed of hot coals.
3 Spoon sauce over oysters and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
4 When the sauce has bubbled for a couple minutes and oyster meats are firm, remove from heat, allow to briefly cool and slurp hot out of the shell.
Optional: Add a seasonal chopped vegetable, such as asparagus in spring.