Barbecue oysters with Langdon Cook

Langdon Cook shows us how to barbecue oysters and talks about his book, Upstream.

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.

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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.