Simply Steamed East Coast Oysters with Hot Chiles


2 teaspoons minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced red Thai chile (or serrano chile)
12 large oysters, scrubbed
Seaweed or green cabbage
1 gram dried marine phytoplankton (optional)
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Shuck the oysters, leaving them on the half-shell
  2. Toss the shallot, ginger, garlic, and thai chiles together in a small bowl.
  3. Place a pinch of the shallot mixture on top of each oyster.
  4. Fill a deep skillet (one that a bamboo steamer will fit into snugly – with about 1 inch of water) and bring to a boil.
  5. Meanwhile, arrange the seaweed/cabbage loosely in the bottom of two bamboo steamer baskets. Set 6 oysters on top of the seaweed/cabbage in each one, nestling them so they sit upright and the juices don’t spill.
  6. Cover one of the baskets and set it over boiling water. Steam for 5 minutes. The oysters will be warmed through and the edges will have ruffled and curled. Remove the basket and cover it with a plate while you steam the second basket.
  7. Place each steamer basket on a dinner plate, garnish the oysters with a few fresh cilantro leaves and lemon; serve. Dust with the phytoplankton if you have it before the cilantro garnish.