Traditional Oyster Stew

Traditional Oyster Stew


Vancouver Island Oysters In West Coast Oyster Stew
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West Coast Oyster Stew

A delicious, easy and luxurious dish, traditional on the East Coast on Christmas Eve.  Done in under 30 minutes and with less than 10 ingredients, if you love oysters, you've got to try this!

*It is imperative that you do not let the soup boil.  Keep the temperature low and remove from heat as soon as the oysters curl at the edges. 

*This recipe will double easily to feed more people. 

Course Christmas, Holiday, Main, Seafood, Soup
Cuisine East Coast, North American, PNW
Keyword Chowder, Oyster Stew, Oysters, Soup, Stew, Traditional
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Sabrina Currie


  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 c Leek, White Part Only, Diced 1/4"
  • 1/4 c Celery, Diced 1/4"
  • 1 Thyme Sprig
  • 1/4 c Dry Sherry or White Wine
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 2 c Whole Milk
  • 1 c Heavy Cream (10% Or Heavier)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp Tobasco Or Other Hot Sauce
  • Salt And Pepper To Taste
  • 1 Pint Shucked Oysters, Liquor Reserved Cut In Pieces If Very Large
  • Parsley And/Or Paprika For Garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter on medium-low and gently saute leeks and celery until translucent but not brown.  

    Leeks and butter
  2. Add thyme and saute 1 more minute, then add sherry or wine and reduce by half. 

    Celery and thyme for oyster soup
  3. Reduce heat to low and add in flour, stir until incorporated and cook for another minute. 

    Roux to thicken seafood stew
  4. Whisk in milk and cream increase heat to medium-low, stirring frequently to prevent lumps or burning and cooking until thickened.  If you have reserved oyster liquor, strain it into the pot at this point.  Do not let milk mixture boil, turn temperature down if needed to keep stew just under a simmer.

    Strain oyster liquor into soup
  5. Remove thyme sprig and puree mixture.  Season to taste with salt (I used 3/4 tsp), pepper and hot sauce.  (I had 1/4 cup oyster liquor which was added in step 4 and is salty.  If you don't have any you may need more salt) 

    Puree soup for smooth texture
  6. Add in oysters, stir gently and watch closely.  As soon as the edges curl, remove from the heat, serve in bowls garnished with chopped parsley and dust with paprika if desired.  

    Smooth velvety oyster stew
  7. Serve with crusty bread, oyster crackers or saltines.

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