HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Homemade sauces for raw oysters

We're having a dinner party tomorrow and will be eating oysters on the half shell.

What are the classic sauces served to accompany oysters at oyster bars?

I'd like to make at least of these traditional sauces from scratch and perhaps whip up involve a non-traditional sauce involving lots of garlic and spicy Asian notes (any ideas?).

Please recommend *specific* recipes, if possible.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The classic sauce accompaniment to oysters is mignonette sauce -- just cracked pepper, finely minced shallot and chapagne or red wine vinegar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: C. Hamster

      Thats not true.... the classic suace accompaniment to oysters is either Salsa Verde for oysters with Cuc notes... or Piquin Agua Chile for meatier tasting large Oysters etc., Besidies no matter how many times I have been served Oysters with mignonette I can't get over the fact that its a stupid pairing.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Those may be classic pairings in some parts of the world, but certainly the mignonette sauce is a classic pairing in France, and one of my favorites. I've also seen oysters served in France with butter and nice bread, which my husband enjoys (I don't like butter on bread).

        Oysters are also good with just a squeeze of lemon and/or a drop of Tabasco.

    2. Definately do the migonette, and a cocktail sauce (catsup, horseradish, worcestershire, lemon and pepper), and sometimes I do a wasabi mayo - just mix wasabi and mayo til it suits your taste. If I was making up a nontraditional asian - I'd probably go mashed garlic, mirin, red pepper or chopped hot peppers, a little sesame oil.

      1. Be sure to have some lemon wedges and a pepper mill handy. Excellent oysters really need nothing more.

        That said, ponzu can be tasty. See http://remarkablepalate.blogspot.com/... for a good recipe, though there are of course other ways to make it. If you can't source yuzu fruit, substitute grapefruit juice with a little orange and lime or Meyer lemon juice added. For a fancy presentation, top the oysters after saucing with a thatch of deep-fried shredded leeks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: carswell

          I agree with the ponzu. Works very well with the oyster. I also prefer my oysters plain.

        2. thanks everyone for the helpful replies

          Carswell, i also agree that unadorned oysters are best, but this sauce-making exercise is purely for fun, because I want to try to replicate the "oyster bar" experience at home. The ponzu recipe sounds wonderful.

          1. I've done a few of the suggested recipes from Hog Island Oyster Co. and their Hog Wash sauce is rather tasty. That said, my favorite topping for oysters is a little bit of lemon/lime and a few drops of Tapatio.

            Here's a link to the HIOC recipe page:

            4 Replies
            1. re: winechik

              Try Guacamaya instead of Tapatio next time... imho its a vastly superior bottled sauce.

                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  Ooh! I'll have to track some down! Thanks for the suggestion EN!

              1. This Rhubarb- Ginger compote comes from a recipe calling for it to be placed over grilled oysters and that tastes lovely BUT I think it would go great over raw oysters. It has the acidity of the mignonette sauce and the texture of a cocktail sauce, both tried and true accompaniments.

                The ginger gives a great spicyness that complements the oyster well.
                I have even used minced candied ginger in place of the fresh it it added anothe level of sweet.

                Rhubarb-Ginger compote
                2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced
                1 shallot, minced
                1 teaspoon grated fresh gingerroot
                2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine) or sherry
                2 tablespoons white wine
                12 freshly shucked oysters
                1 tablespoon olive oil
                Combine all compote ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb has softened and the compote has a thick, saucelike consistency. Set aside.

                Also a resturant around me does 2 variations on the mignonette sauce adding minced cucumber- this is so light and refreshing I'm often tempted to drink the remaining sauce.
                The other is minced watermelon again refeshining and in this case witha nice sweet note

                1. My favorite pairing is a homemade cocktail sauce and freshly prepared horseradish.

                  1. On a dive trip to Margarita Island off the Venezuelan coast (margarita is greek for "pearl", and the island provided Columbus' most valuable bounty to Isabella) we would pry loose a few dozen oysters and feast after our second dive. Most would add drops of hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. One wizened old divemaster caught my attention, and explained to me that nearly everything added to a fresh oyster masks or smothers the subtle taste. His MO was to add a few drops of white vinegar and a little salt, insisting that that combo draws out and enhances the true oyster flavor. I still do a variety, but his method has some merit.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Veggo

                      I realize this might not make your party...but just this evening I worked a party where we served the most fantastic oysters- we shucked leaving as much natural juice as possible, hit with one to two drops tabasco, a squeeze of key lime, then the chef added a twist on the mignonette- thin sliced-then chopped cucumbers, minute red onion and shallotwith a slightly sweet vinegar- lots of pepper. I must have eatten 10 behind the service area tree!! The oysters themselves were perfect- hard to improve that.