Raw Oysters with Grilled Pineapple and Thai Basil

Raw Oysters with Grilled Pineapple and Thai Basil
Raw Oysters with Grilled Pineapple and Thai BasilTed Cavanaugh

Some ingredients obscure raw oysters, others enhance them. Just as lemon juice brightens and cleans their flavor, so too does Thai basil, marinated pineapple, and a squeeze of lime. A sprinkling of dark-burgundy-colored urfa biber chile flakes, commonly known as urfa, adds a smoky dimension.

What You Will Need

Raw Oysters with Grilled Pineapple and Thai Basil
Thai basil, marinated and grilled pineapple, and lime enhances and cleans the flavor of these raw oysters, complemented by minced Thai chile.
Yield: makes 1 Dozen
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. plus ⅛ tsp. Asian fish sauce, divided
  • 12 tsp. fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for squeezing
  • 1 tbsp. minced shallot, divided
  • 1 slice of fresh pineapple, ¼ inch thick (4½ oz.), skin cut away
  • 14 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 dozen medium, sweet oysters
  • Finely chopped fresh Thai basil, or substitute regular basil or cilantro
  • Very finely minced Thai chile, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of the shallot; whisk well until the mixture is thick and syrupy.
  2. Preheat a grill pan or grill to high heat. Brush both sides of the pineapple slice with some of the sugar mixture. Transfer to the preheated grill and let cook until well-charred, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the pineapple slice to a cutting board and finely dice it. Transfer to a small bowl and add the olive oil; stir well.
  4. Shuck the oysters and, using an oyster knife, detach the meat from the bottom of the shell, reserving the liquid.
  5. Place the oysters on a bed of coarse sea salt or crushed ice to stabilize them. Add at least 2 small cubes of pineapple to each, or more to taste. Top each oyster with a generous pinch of Thai basil leaves, a few pieces of shallot, and a sliver of Thai chile. Serve immediately with lime wedges.