I am an oyster lover, particularly raw oysters on the half shell. I can "throw back" oysters like you wouldn't believe. My husband and I have eating competitions and of course, I always come out on top. I may have been the sole perpetrator to put my favorite all-you-can-eat oyster place out of business. These briny mollusks of the sea are one of my favorite foods. I love them best untampered and raw, with a squirt of tangy and sweet migonette sauce.
A mignonette sauce is a condiment for raw oysters on the half shell. There are many wonderful variations but the basic ingredients in a mignonette sauce are vinegar, shallots and pepper.
I recently did an Asian take on the classic mignonette sauce. For my Asian version, I used rice vinegar, a squeeze of lemon juice, finely diced apple pears (also known as Asian pears or Chinese pears), grated shallots, and a pinch of salt and pepper. It was a lovely combination of sweet from the Asian pears, tang from the rice vinegar and lemon, and savory from the grated shallots. The salt and pepper rounded out all the flavors. My favorite component was the Asian pears. Diced in small cubes, they not only served as a sweet note to the sauce, but provided a contrasting crunchy texture. The new texture paired beautifully with the slippery oysters.
I spooned the mignonette sauce onto each raw oyster on the half shell. Then I topped them off with a sprinkle of chives, mainly for color. This mignonette sauce with an Asian twist was incredibly tasty and refreshing. It was definitely well worth the many stab wounds from shucking oysters.
Asian Mignonette Sauce (for 12 oysters)
3 tablespoons finely diced Apple Pears (also known as Chinese pears or Asian pears)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 small shallot (grated)
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of salt
Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of sauce over each oyster on the half shell and serve.