Old-Fashioned Oyster Stew

Oyster Stew

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


The most important factors in preparing Oyster Stew are do not boil the milk and do not overcook the oysters. Be careful to avoid overcooking oysters, which causes them to become tough.

The amount of oysters used may be varied according to your taste.

Some add about 1/2 cup of thinly sliced celery to this stew, and some add a sprinkle or two of celery salt. It's a personal choice.


  • 2 pints (approximately 32 ounces) small to medium-size raw shucked oysters with their liquor
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups milk (a little added cream may be added to make it richer)
  • 1 or 2 dashes Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced parsley, sliced chives or sliced green onions
  • Butter


  1. Drain the oysters, reserving their liquor. Strain the oyster liquor with a fine strainer or cheesecloth to remove any sand.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add oysters and simmer very gently for about 2 to 4 minutes or until the edges of the oysters curl.
  3. While the oysters are simmering, in a separate saucepan over low heat, slowly heat the milk, cream and oyster liquor (do not boil).
  4. When the oysters are cooked, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the oysters, stirring gently. Season with Tabasco, salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Serve in warm soup bowls and garnish each bowl with parsley, chives or green onions and a generous pat of butter.
  7. Serve with oyster crackers.