Mahurangi oysters, sherry jelly and pancetta crumbs

by | Jan 16, 2024 | Recipes

This is a recipe by Ginny Grant, a well-known New Zealand food writer that was published in Cuisine magazine in 2020. Ginny sees cooking oysters as somewhat akin to a crime:

“I can’t bear to cook oysters, so they are most often served raw, but I do on occasion like a little topping such as a jelly and if it is paired with a crisp crumb of something salty that, too, is a delight. A crisp, flinty and dry sherry such as manzanilla is a delicious combination with oysters and that is what I recommend to use here”.

If you want to keep your oysters ‘au naturel’ but would like to add some texture, then we think this is the dish for you. As Al Brown has said using “the clear jelly, the presentation is pretty cool and the sherry jelly delivers a nice punch while the pancetta crumb provides that wee bit of crunch.

We suggest that you also add the oyster juice to the gelatine. It is the perfect dish to serve as an appetiser at your next dinner party, or the next time you’re having drinks with friends.

Mahurangi oysters, sherry jelly and pancetta crumbs

Print Recipe
Servings 4


  • 2 leaves gelatine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 100 ml manzanilla sherry
  • oil for frying
  • 4 slices pancetta
  • 2 dozen Mahurangi oysters in the half-shell – brine reserved.
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


  • Soak the gelatine in some cold water for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Put 50ml of water (use less fresh water if you are using some of the oyster brine) and the sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and add to the pan stirring until it dissolves.
  • Remove from the heat, add the sherry to the mix, combine well and then pour into a small deep container.
  • Cool and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until set.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the pancetta.
  • Cook until crisp and drain on paper towels.
  • Crumble into pieces.
  • When ready to serve, shuck the Mahurangi oysters and put them onto a bed of ice.
  • Cut the jelly into small cubes, put a few on each oyster.
  • Scatter with the pancetta and the chives.
  • Serve with more chilled manzanilla.

The oyster of choice

Thanks to our careful husbandry and intelligent market selection, our plump Pacific oysters have become the oyster of choice in the Auckland restaurant scene and are exported in large numbers to Pacific Rim countries.

Feel free to contact us directly should you want more information. As a family business, we are very proud of what we produce and sell – and we only sell the best.

Mahurangi Oysters

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