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Barbecued oysters with bacon-chilli-tamarind sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for barbecued oysters with bacon-chilli-tamarind sauce.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 8 - 10
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus soaking
Barbecued oysters with bacon-chilli-tamarind sauce
Barbecued oysters with bacon-chilli-tamarind sauce

It's hard to beat freshly shucked oysters, but shucking them yourself can be time-consuming. If you barbecue them in their shells, though, the heat pops them open, and you can serve them straight from the grill with a squeeze of lemon or with the tamarind sauce below.

Ingredients

  • 230 gm bacon rashers (we like double-smoked)
  • 80 gm tamarind pulp, soaked in ¾ cup hot water for 30 minutes
  • 160 gm light palm sugar, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 small red chillies, crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 24 unopened oysters
  • 3 golden shallots, thinly sliced, to serve
  • ½ bunch Thai basil leaves, to serve
  • To serve: lime halves

Method

Main
  • 1
    Remove rind from bacon and cook rind in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fat renders (5-10 minutes). Remove crackling from pan (it can be discarded or eaten by the cook). Finely chop remaining bacon, add to pan, stir occasionally until crisp and golden (10-15 minutes), then set aside on absorbent paper to drain.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, pass tamarind liquid through a sieve into a bowl (discard solids), add palm sugar and stir to dissolve. Add fish sauce and chilli and set aside.
  • 3
    Preheat barbecue to high heat, add oysters and barbecue until they pop open (3-5 minutes). Separate oyster lids from bases with a knife, top oysters with a little bacon, a drizzle of tamarind sauce, a scattering of shallot and a few Thai basil leaves and serve with lime halves.