Grandpa's Oyster Stew Recipe -
Grandpa's Oyster Stew Recipe
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Grandpa’s Oyster Stew
See how to make one family’s treasured oyster stew recipe. See more
  • READY IN 35 mins

Grandpa's Oyster Stew

Recipe by  

"Born and raised on the water, oystering is in chef Madden Surbaugh's blood. Every year at Christmas his grandfather made his famous oyster stew."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    35 mins


  1. Stir butter and garlic in stockpot over medium heat until butter begins to brown. Remove garlic and discard.
  2. Stir shallots into browned butter. Cook and stir until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Pour sherry over shallots in the stockpot and bring to a boil while scraping any browned bits off of the bottom of the pot. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Pour reserved oyster liquor, milk, and cream into the stockpot; bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in oysters; cook until oyster edges begin to ruffle, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in parsley; season with sea salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sweet paprika and oyster crackers.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • If using canned oysters, drain the oysters over a bowl to collect the liquid. Use this liquid in place of oyster liquor.

Reviews More Reviews

Jun 05, 2012

This is my first time making oyster soup and most likely not my last. I love the flavors and the simplicity of this soup. Probably one of the best seafood soups out there. I used a 16 oz bag of frozen oysters (just thawed in bag with a bowl full of water and drained in stainer to reserve juice) other than that followed recipe as is. Just wonderful, have to taste to understand. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

May 10, 2012

Wow! Could eat this every day! Delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

Oct 06, 2012

This recipe was very tasty and uncomplicated to prepare. I used a dry white wine because I'm not crazy about sherry; I also used whole milk and half-n-half instead of the heavy cream, one tblsp of dried parsley (because that was what I had on hand) and garlic bread croutons....main meal with a salad....Perfect!

May 31, 2012

Love this. Oyster stew is a Christmas Eve tradition in our house too. I put a splash of worchestershire and tabasco sauce in mine.

Jan 06, 2015

We loved this! I had been using a recipe out of a cookbook and decided to give this one a try. I don't know Grandpa - but his oyster stew is fabulous! Two of us ate every last drop! We had fresh-harvested oysters from the Eastern shore and I also added just a pinch of Old Bay for some added flavor. We'll use this recipe from now on.

Dec 27, 2013

I made this for Christmas and it was a HUGE hit. We had a lot of oyster liquor, and I did not think we would use it all, but I really did end up needing it. I added a little bit of Old Bay but I didn't want to overpower the delicate flavor so it was just a pinch but it really made a difference.

Jan 06, 2013

I tried this recipe to use up the lightly cooked oysters left over from a New Year's oyster roast, and it was wonderful! I threw in a few small dried red chilis with the shallots (comparable to maybe 1/4 tsp chili flakes); that makes for a subtle addition that complements nicely. And I used abundant parsley. What a wonderful soup for January 2!!!

Apr 24, 2013

Amazing just the way it is! My only change was a small dollop of butter on top at the time of serving and before putting on the paprika and sprinkling of parsley. Just amazing.....thank you


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  • Calories
  • 806 kcal
  • 40%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 46.4 g
  • 15%
  • Cholesterol
  • 295 mg
  • 98%
  • Fat
  • 51.8 g
  • 80%
  • Fiber
  • 1.1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 35.9 g
  • 72%
  • Sodium
  • 1148 mg
  • 46%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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