Why oysters are perfect for winter feasting

by | Jun 14, 2023 | Recipes

Mahurangi Oyster Stew

As the colder months settle in, we need heart-warming dishes that provide comfort and joy. Oysters, the epitome of luxury, are perfect for winter feasting. Plus, they’re a nutritional powerhouse, rich in essential vitamins and minerals that can bolster your immune system during the chilly season. So, why not embrace winter with a bowl of delectable oyster stew?

Oyster Soup vs. Oyster Stew

Firstly though, there is a difference between oyster soup and stew. While both are delightful ways to enjoy these sensational bivalves, they have slight differences in preparation and consistency. Oyster soup is typically a little thinner. The stock has a base of oyster liquor with herbs and spices. A stew, on the other hand, has a more luscious, creamy texture.

Antoine’s Oyster Stew

shucking mahurangi oystersThis recipe has stood the test of time. Antoine’s is a 176-year-old restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This classic recipe has been lifted practically word for word from Saveur Magazine. It is a true winner.

Check out the comments from the site.

OMG! This recipe is AMAZING! Even my darling husband, who is not a fan of oysters, had 2 bowls and is on his list of my best soups.” Cindy
“Love love love this stew!! As soon as oysters are in season, I make this immediately. I was planning to bring this to a potluck, but I cancelled because it was too good to share!” Alison

Indulge in this irresistible dish!

This recipe happily feeds 6 hungry oyster fanatics.

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Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Servings 6


  • 50 medium Mahurangi Oysters shucked with 1 cup of the liquor reserved
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter about ¾ cup or 170gm
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour about ⅓ cup or 40gm
  • 4 stalks of celery finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  • Combine oyster liquor and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Allow the liquid to come to a simmer then add the oysters and cook until their edges begin to curl, about 2 minutes.
  • Strain the oysters over a medium size bowl. Reserve oysters and cooking liquid separately.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium-high heat.
  • Once the butter begins to foam, add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 3–4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Then add celery, garlic, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and celery are very soft, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in milk, cream, and reserved oysters with their cooking liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, until just hot, about 5 minutes.
  • One website says, “when the milk bubbles and edges of the oysters ruffle like the hem of a wave sliding up on a beach, the stew is ready to eat”.
  • Serve immediately alongside crusty bread.


One expert claims that
oyster stew should be served so piping hot that you blow on it between bites. Those pauses will make us all focus on the gift we’re eating and ensure we don’t just slurp it for granted.
In the United States, particularly in the southern states, this scrumptious stew is traditionally served at Christmas. In New Zealand, we prefer it as a cosy winter treat or a dish to impress your guests.
So, embrace the magic of oysters and celebrate the joy of winter feasting! Remember to always use fresh, high-quality oysters for the best results. Enjoy!
Keyword oysters
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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.

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