Bivalve fiends may spar over which species of oyster is best, but if asked for their favorite letter of the alphabet, chances are they would unanimously say 'R.' While the "only eat oysters in months with 'R'" mantra is no longer an absolute rule (responsible and regulated oyster farming provides us with risk-free oysters year round), wild oysters spawn when waters warm in summer, and the flavor of spawning shellfish is often flat and off-putting. You don't need to start waving away oysters in May, but be on alert for creatures that look milky or slimy, an indication that your oysters have gotten a bit randy. Once you've locked down some immaculate specimens, try one of these oyster-focused recipes from our collection, including an earthy variation with roasted shiitakes, an eye-opening shooter, and crisp-fried in cornmeal with a bright lemon rémoulade.
Small, sweet Kumamoto oysters from the Pacific are perfect for this dish.
This bracing seafood shooter delivers a one-two punch of ginger and minced serrano chiles.
Adding roasted shiitakes to a classic mignonette transforms this simple starter.
Kick off your next dinner party with these New Orleans–style fried oysters.
Hungry for more? View our entire recipe collection.