Events, Recipes
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Learning to shuck oysters and a recipe for Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick

From my father, I inherited a fierce love for fresh oysters.

If there was ever a moment I didn’t love raw oysters, I don’t remember it. As a kid, I ate my weight in oysters and any buffet worth visiting had fresh oysters in it’s offerings. Those in our family who loved them would eat a plate piled high. As a young adult, I once (or twice) turned up to family gatherings armed with several dozen shucked oysters on a polystyrene box, knowing they would go down a treat.


Oysters are cheaper and fresher if you shuck them yourself but I’d never shucked oysters before. I vaguely remember my uncle wrestling with oysters but that didn’t interest me as a kid – I just wanted to eat them. In anticipation of the Te Matuku Oyster Festival on Waiheke this Saturday, I had the opportunity to shuck and cook up some plump Waiheke oysters. I’m no pro yet, so I won’t be sharing any shucking tips but I watched a bunch of Youtube videos (including this video and this video) and got stuck in.

(Thanks to The Koala for these photos)


I love raw oysters, but if you prefer cooked, this one is for you. I’ve combined and collaborated with two beloved Waiheke names: Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and Te Matuku Oysters to make Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick.


Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney recently won People’s Choice at the NZ Food Awards so if you haven’t tried it already, I suggest you hustle to your closest retailer for a jar or two.

This recipe has been taste tested by a panel of two hungry men who pronounced these delicious. I’ve suggested 12 oysters to feed 2-4 people as a starter but this really depends on your appetites. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled depending on your requirements. I have no trouble putting away a dozen on my own so no judgement from me if you want more oysters to feed less people, but any less than 3 oysters each is probably going to star a war. You have been warned.


Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick

Serves 2-4 as a starter


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 rashers streaky bacon, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney
  • Rock salt or aluminium foil
  • 12 half shell oysters
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon wedges and chopped coriander to serve


  1. Preheat grill (broiler) to 200°C.
  2. Heat oil in a small frying pan, on medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Add onion and cook for 1 minute until softened.
  3. In a small bowl, melt butter (microwave 10-20 seconds) then add Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and the bacon and onion. Stir to combine.
  4. Lay rock salt or scrunched-up foil on a baking tray to form a stable surface to rest oysters on top in a single layer.
  5. Divide bacon and chutney mixture among the shells and grill for 4 minutes.
  6. Season with freshly ground black pepper, scatter with chopped coriander and serve with lemon wedges on the side.


Te Matuku Oyster Festival is Saturday 5 November from 12pm and tickets are $45pp or $80pp for a package including transfers and ferry. All tickets include your first 3 oysters, a festival glass and a wine or beer. Visit iTicket to purchase tickets to Te Matuku Oyster Festival.

This post was made possible by the good folks at Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and Te Matuku Oysters, though all opinions are my own.



our-growing-edge-badgeThis post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage bloggers to try new food related things.

This month’s host is Alicia from Alicia’s Bits n Bobs.

If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. More information here.


  1. Looks real good! Still have not been able to brave trying oysters but you make it look so tempting with that delicious topping.

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