Ask a top chef about the best way to enjoy an oyster and he’ll tell you to eat it raw. But there’s no harm in making the upscale appetizer a little more adventurous. By that we mean serving the shellfish underneath a splash of vodka or sake. Booze adds an extra kick of flavor to briny, protein-packed oysters, and serving them in a glass scores you some presentation points when you’re lending her a hand during a dinner party or brunch. (Hey, you know what they say about oysters as aphrodisiacs).
We recently returned from the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, where celebrity chef and restaurateur Ming Tsai schooled us on oyster shooters. Where you might have seen Ming: He’s the host of Ming’s Quest and Simply Ming, and also appeared on season three of The Next Iron Chef. He’s got a knack for making this super fancy-sounding appetizer come together in seconds—and you can get there, too. Start with these two Asian-inspired oyster shooters.
After carefully shucking the oyster (Ming uses ice-cold Island Creek Oysters for these recipes), set it in the bottom of a shot glass and mix up one of two cocktails:
- Thai Coconut Shooter: Pour chili-infused vodka, Double Cross vodka, and coconut milk over ice and shake. Pour the mixture over the oyster and top with green chili flakes.
- Sake Shooter: Top oysters with cucumber (sliced into matchsticks) and a pinch of fresh wasabi. Pour chilled sake over oyster, cucumber, and wasabi.
For more cooking how-tos, check out MF’s Fit Kitchen.