• A favourite food for thousands of years. (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

This is based on a celebratory, muck-in style ‘oyster roast’ from the US, which can be done on the beach in boardies, or at a wedding, and every occasion in between. The trick is to warm the oysters without roasting them open. I like them with this tomato, chilli and coriander salsa, but you can serve them with Tabasco or any other condiments of your choice. You’ll need a decent amount of hessian or similar sturdy cloth that you don’t mind ruining, and an oyster knife.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (6 votes)


  • 6 dozen unshucked oysters
  • lemon wedges and Tabasco, to serve


Tomato, chilli and coriander salsa

  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded, chopped
  • 6 coriander roots, scrubbed, finely chopped
  • 5 cm-piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 large spring onion, thinly sliced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 12 as part of a meal.

To make salsa, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat a flat barbecue hotplate to high. Dip hessian in water for 30 seconds to wet. Place oysters on the hotplate in a single layer, then throw hessian over the top. You want steam coming from the hessian, so don’t be shy with the water.

Cook for 1½ minutes (yes, that’s all), or until oysters start to bubble slightly around the edge where the lid meets the base of the shell; don’t wait for them to open fully. Remove hessian and transfer oysters to a large tray.

Shuck the oysters as you would raw ones, using a gloved hand to hold the shells and the knife in the other. Serve immediately with the lemon, salsa, and Tabasco.



Photography Alan Benson. Food preparation Sadie Chrestman. Styling Michelle Crawford.


As seen in Feast magazine, Dec/Jan 2014, Issue 38.