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Barbecued Oysters with Ginger-Chile Salsa

Barbecued Oysters with Ginger-Chili Salsa
The best oysters to use for barbecuing are the larger, meatier ones, such as Pacific or Kumamato oysters from the West Coast. Large clams are also delicious cooked on the grill, as are scallops in the shell, if you can find them. All live bivalves, except for soft-shelled clams, should close tightly when you touch them and should open up during cooking. Discard any that don?t.

Ingredients:

For the salsa:

  • 2 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, seeded and
      minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion, including
      white and light green portions
  • 1 1⁄2 cups chopped yellow or red tomatoes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • Salt, to taste

  • 48 large oysters in the shell, scrubbed

Directions:

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.

To make the salsa, in a bowl, mix together the ginger, chiles to taste, green onion, tomatoes, lime juice, soy sauce and sesame oil. Taste and season with salt.

Discard any oysters whose shells do not close to the touch. Arrange the oysters on the grill directly over medium-high heat, cover the grill and cook until the oysters open, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the oysters to a platter and discard any that did not open.

Using an oven mitt to protect your hand, remove the top shells. Spoon a little of the salsa onto each oyster, and serve with the remaining salsa alongside.

Serves 8 as an appetizer, 4 to 6 as a first course.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Grilling, by Denis Kelly (Simon & Schuster, 2002).