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Steamed Oysters

Oysters can be eaten raw or prepared fried, grilled, or roasted. They are often served as an appetizer or main course with garnishes including lemon, melted butter, and cocktail sauce. Native Americans were the first to use oysters as food. Commercial production of the seafood reached its peak in the US from 1880 to 1910 though sustainable practices are now in place to prevent overharvesting. The leading oyster-producing states are Louisiana, Washington, and South Carolina though most premium whole oysters come from New England, Virginia, and the Pacific Northwest.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
20 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 24 fresh oysters in shells
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • Melted butter, as needed for dipping (optional)
  • Cocktail sauce, as needed for dipping (optional)


  1. Scrub and rinse the oysters thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Add water to a large pot with a steaming basket until it is 2 inches below the basket.
  3. Add the salt and bring the water to a boil.
  4. Place the oysters in the basket, cover, and steam for 10 minutes or until shells open.
  5. Remove the oysters from the pot.
  6. Remove the top shell of each oysters using a knife and discard it.
  7. Loosen the oyster meat of each oyster using a knife and place it on a serving plate on the half shell.
  8. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, melted butter, and cocktail sauce on the side for dipping, if using.

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