Grilled oysters make excellent appetizers because they are easy to cook, tasty and healthy. These Vietnamese-style grilled oysters are flavorful and beautiful to look at with the additions of scallion oil and roasted peanuts.
About Vietnamese grilled oysters with scallion oil
Vietnam has a long coastline, and as a result, seafood is an important part of Vietnamese cuisine. We usually use simple cooking methods to preserve the freshness and natural sweetness of the seafood.
Grilling with scallion oil is a very popular way to cook oysters, clams, mussels and other bivalves in Vietnam. When oysters are cooked this way, we call it “hàu nướng mỡ hành” and it is a super popular dish at seafood restaurants in the country.
I try to eat a few oysters each week because they are a great source of zinc, which is essential to our health but not easy to get in our modern diet. This is definitely one of my favorite oyster dishes in addition to this tasty oyster rice bowl.
The nutty roasted peanuts and mild onion-y scallions compliment the sweetness and brininess of oysters well. In addition, they add texture and aroma to the dish.
You need very few ingredients for this dish:
- shucked oysters on the half-shelf
- scallion and neutral-flavored oil to make scallion oil
- unsalted roasted peanuts (or substitute with fried shallots)
Preparing oysters is the most time-consuming and challenging part when making this recipe. You will need to give them a good scrub to remove any dirt, mud and sand. After that comes the painful part which is to shuck them. You’ll definitely need an oyster knife, and you can follow the instructions and watch the video on how to shuck oysters on Serious Eats.
Basically, you use the oyster knife to push into the hinge of the oyster and then wiggle and twist the knife to pop open the top shell. Not super easy but practice will make perfect. After shucking them, I like to put them on a wired rack to keep them stay in place so that we won’t lose too much juice.
The quality of the oysters decides how delicious this dish is, so please choose those that you know are fresh, sweet, juicy and succulent. Also, different varieties can taste very different.
I prefer homemade roasted peanuts over store-bought. If you have time, simply dry roast them in a skillet over medium heat for 9-10 minutes. Then wrap in some paper towels or foil until they are no longer hot.
How to grill oysters in Vietnamese style
1️⃣ Prepare the scallion oil: heat the oil until it is hot, then add chopped scallion to the hot oil along with a small pinch of salt. Stir and cook very briefly. Transfer to a clean bowl immediately to avoid overcooking which will affect the color of the scallion.
2️⃣ Grill the oysters: it’s best to cook this dish on a charcoal grill. Good news is cooking it with a gas grill, grill pan or even in the oven will not disappoint you. I often grill the oysters with my Staub grill pan.
First, place oysters on your preheated grill. Cover and cook for a couple minutes.
After that, uncover and spoon some scallion oil over each oyster. Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes until just cooked through. Don’t overcook or they will be less juicy.
- Top with a generous amount of lightly crushed roasted peanuts and serve immediately while the grilled oysters are still hot.
- Drizzle some hot sauce such as sriracha if desired when eating.
As mentioned above, you can also use fried shallots instead of roasted peanuts. Here’s how they look with fried shallots topping:
Note: the post was originally posted on November 15th, 2017. It has been updated with additional photos, revised instructions and serving tips in April, 2023.
More grilling recipes you may like to try for your backyard BBQ party:
⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Vietnamese Grilled Oysters with Scallion Oil
- 12 fresh oysters
- 2-3 tablespoons neutral-flavored cooking oil
- 4 stalks of scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced (about ½-⅔ cup, 30-40g)
- a small pinch of salt
- ¼-⅓ cup roasted peanuts, lightly crushed (about 40-50g, or substitute with fried shallots)
- sriracha or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
- Scrub oysters under running water. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add oil and when oil is heated, add scallions and salt. Stir and cook for a few seconds until fragrant and scallions are soft, then transfer the scallion oil to a clean bowl.
- Use an oyster knife to shuck the oysters and put on a wired rack.
- Heat a grill pan, gas grill or charcoal grill to medium high – high heat. Place oysters on the grill, close the grill or cover the grill pan and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Open and top each oyster with ½ teaspoon – 1 teaspoon scallion oil. Cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes until just cooked through. Cooking time depends on the size of the oysters.
- Transfer grilled oysters to serving plates and top with a generous amount of roasted peanuts. Serve immediately with your favorite hot sauce (optional).
- You can follow the instructions and watch the video on how to shuck oysters on Serious Eats.
- Try not to overcook the oysters or they will not be juicy.